By Francis Akinnodi
Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS) has restated its commitment to block all leakages in revenue generation to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the 2021 fiscal year.
The Chairman, ODIRS, Tolu Adegbie said the agency had adopted several strategies to improve and make tax payment easy in order to increase the revenue base of the state.
“We are focused on blocking all leakages in the system to improve the revenue generation in the state.
“With all the efficiencies we have created, with the blockage of loopholes, with all the new ways of collection we have introduced, we are not going to increase tax, in fact, right now, we are even reducing.
“The Ondo State Government recently approved slashing of tax payment for some businesses in the state by 50 percent with effect from this year and this is aimed at cushioning the effects of COVID-19 on the businesses and a way for the state to give back to the people.
“In 2021, we are rolling out more palliatives. Mr Governor has approved further palliatives for business premises,” he said.
Adegbie said, despite a fall in revenue generation, the state government was concerned about the welfare of its people, thereby introducing a reward system and rolled out palliatives for people in both formal and informal sector and the citizens at large.
“Everything is not about money, tax is based on how much you earn, if you’re not earning much, you shouldn’t pay. So, we are going to do a form of reward system for our consumers this year.”, he assured.
He noted that there had been a fall in revenue generation for governments all over the world, leading to downward review of budgets, Ondo state inclusive.
“But we still believe there are lots of opportunities in the system, where we are having leakages. So, we concentrate more on blocking the leakages.
“If we can block those leakages, we can actually make enough money to boost the IGR and that is really our target this year (2021).”
According to him, “The challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented drop of oil prices have resulted in the drop in statutory revenue allocation to the state.
“There is an urgent need for government and citizens to brace up and confront the present realities of a harsh economic climate that will enable them look inwards and take advantage of any activity that is income yielding to ensure that revenues are enhanced and collected amidst the pandemic to keep the wheels of government turning in order to meet the needs of the people.”
He urged the people to cooperate with the agency to enable it meet its obligations.