Saturday, 20 December 2014

Anambra State House of Assembly passes LG Automated Revenue Allocation



Participants at a one-day public hearing organised by the Anambra State House of Assembly on a bill for a law to use automated machines to collect government revenues have called for proper enlightenment and consultations before its implementation.
The bill sponsored by Hon Romanus Obi and three others seeks to use automated machines,banks and bills to collect government revenues such as sundry taxes,levies,fees and other related matters.
Stakeholders at the event who threw their weight behind the initiative,however called for caution in view of system failure often associated with automated machines.
Setting the tune for the event,Pius Udoh,who represented the Speaker of the State House of Assembly,Hon Chinwe Nwaebili,said the public hearing was a follow up to the recommendation of the House Committee on Internally Generated Revenue[IGR] which the bill was referred to after its second reading.
She regretted that over the years there had been apathy by some people in paying taxes because they believed that not all the monies they paid got to the end user,adding that there was the need to come up with a leak-proof mechanism of collecting revenue.
''To have a tax regime and administrative framework that will net the highest possible revenue without inflicting undue hardship on the payer,or widening the gap between the rich and the poor,is the reason we have invited stakeholders and indeed all interested people to come together and swap ideas on the best way it can be achieved''
The sponsor of the bill,Hon Romanus Obi,told the forum that time had come for an efficient and transparent means of collecting government revenues devoid of cutting corners,stressing that the idea was to encourage people to pay at their convenience so as to boost the state revenue.
Sir Okey Moka,Chairman,Anambra State Internal Revenue Service,described the event as apt and timely especially as the agency had concluded enumeration of taxable people in the state,which would be followed up with enforcement and punishment of tax evaders.
He added that it was no longer fashionable to depend on federal allocation in view of dwindling oil revenue as a result of sharp drop in the price of oil which he said was a global concern,stating that IGR must be strenghtened to beef up the deficiency.
In a paper titled''The Benefits And Challenges of Automated Revenue Collection System''Magnus Ekwunife of the Megastrat Consulting Ltd,pointed out that some states like Lagos State had transformed their revenue collection base with outstanding results,and allayed the fears of system failure being expressed in some quarters.
He added that due to electronic based data system,Lagos State revenue grew from 4.6billion to 22billion per month,stating that such could be replicated in the state if automation is embraced and supported.

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