By Golok Nanmwa ,Jos
Plateau Government on Tuesday declared over N16.04 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from January to September 2020 .
Mr Dashe Arlat, the Chairman, Plateau State Internal Revenue Service (PSIRS), made this known while addressing newsmen in Jos .
” On the 23rd of December 2019 , the Governor of Plateau state Simon Lalong signed into law the 2020 budget of N 177 .3 billion naira with a charge to all Ministries ,departments and Agencies MDA’s to ensure effective implementation of the budget .
” The state Internally Generated Revenue IGR was then put at N22 billion with PSIRS target pegged at N16 billion Naira in 20202 .
As a service ,PSIRS devised it’s strategies and poised itself to meet and even surpass it’s 2020 target of 16 Billion ,in addition to strengthening and intensifying productive strategies deployed in 2019 .
Arlat said that that despite the challenges of the COVID-19 disease, the Service did its best to continue to generate revenue for the running of government businesses, the Pandemic has taken a heavy toll on human lives and bussiness in the state ,this has consequently slowed down the efforts of the service towards achieving its revenue targets within the period under review as a sensitive and responsive government ,the service recognized the suffering of bussiness across the state and quickly introduced palliative tax relief measures to help mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID 19 on Plateau bussiness.
He further said that these measures put in Place are the extension of timelines for filing of annual returns ,waiver of penalties and interests charged due to late returns and reduction of interest for late payments amongst others .
He said that the service rolled out a specific strategy to intensify all tax assessments in the formal and informal sectors in the Headquarters and Zonal offices across the state tagged Operation Show Your Tax receipts which was successful in ensuring that over 54 percent of tax payers in the formal sector and 60 percent in the informal sector complied with assessments and have been making payments as and when due .
In his words ” The Service has aggressively pursued all revenues in the informal sector in 2020 through strategic partnership with various trade unions and associations at the state and local government levels to make the collection in the sector seamless for all stakeholders .
The Chairman also said that the service recognized the special role the bussiness community ,trade unions and associations play in ensuring a harmonious tax adminstration in the state stressing that the department of informal sector has continued to interface with all stakeholders in the bussiness community ,trade unions and associations to ensure that there is synergy between the tax authority and it’s tax authority and its tax payers .
Arlat further said that with the COVID 19 pandemic affecting the world and Nigeria in various ways and has resulted in unforeseen and devastating health and economic consequences ,there is an urgent need for government and citizens to brace up and confront the present realities of a harsh economic climate that now confronts us ,strategics must be evolved to ensure that revenues are harnessed and collected from the little activities going on even amidst the pandemic to keep the wheels of government turning to meet the needs of the people .
“A post pandemic strategy must be developed and deployed to ensure bussiness activities resume seamlessly after the pandemic has abated .”
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