Enugu beats 15% UN tax revenue to GDP benchmark—FOWLER

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Executive Chairman of Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in Abuja, Nigeria, September 21, 2016. Photo taken September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ENUGU—CHAIRMAN of the Joint Tax Board, JTB, Mr. Tunde Fowler has commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for putting in place a proficient and “unparalleled” tax regime, which has ensured that the state exceeded the 15 per cent tax revenue to GDP benchmark suggested by the United Nations for the funding of budgets.

The JTB chairman, who is also the chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, also applauded Ugwuanyi for the unprecedented growth in the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of Enugu State as well as the judicious utilisation of the said funds for the rapid development of the state.

Fowler, who spoke during the 141st meeting of the board holding in Enugu, which had in attendance chairmen of the Board of Internal Revenue from the 36 states of the federation, also lauded the governor for his quality leadership, giant development strides in the state and “excellent” hospitality.

He, therefore, called on other governors to emulate Ugwuanyi’s measures in enhancing the efficiency and productivity of his state’s Board of Internal Service for improved revenue profile in their various states. The chairman stated that the objective of the meeting, themed: “Leveraging on ICT for Efficient Tax Administration and Revenue Enhancements, Focusing on States IRS,” was to discuss tax matters and how to provide better services as well as “look at contracts executed with tax payers’ money.” While further appreciating Gov. Ugwuanyi for his effective utilization of tax payers’ money for the rapid development of the state, Fowler advised the visiting chairmen of BIR to share the experience with their governors, accordingly. He said: “As you come to Enugu, you can see how tax monies were used

. Following the testimony given by the chairman of Board of Internal Revenue of Enugu State, Mr. Emeka Odo, all the chairmen are supposed to have the copies of advance sheets to their governors for them to see what was going on in Enugu State and how things are supposed to be done”. He maintained that tax revenue is “no doubt the only means to ensure sustainable economic and social development”, emphasizing their role “as tax administrators to carry out our duties diligently to ensure that all the current tax revenue is collected as at when due.”

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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