By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Kwara state Internal Revenue Service, KW-IRS, an agency solely responsible for the mobilisation of revenue in the state, has raked in a total sum of N9.8bn in the second quarter of 2019 as against N6.2bn in the first quarter.
According to the breakdown, the agency in April generated the sum of N1.145bn, while it raked in N6.9bn and N1.76bn in May and June respectively.
Addressing journalists in Ilorin, the state capital, on Thursday, during the agency’s quarterly media parley, KW-IRS Chairman, Prof. Muritala Awodun, who stated that the agency’s half year performance in 2019 was the best in all its half years since inception, explained the huge revenue of N6.9bn in May, saying there was a major inflow of cash liabilities of N4.8bn to the agency largely from federal government agencies in that month. He disclosed that the agency still has some liabilities to collect, which is being pursued with vigour, adding that the agency is looking for positive changes with a view to firming up revenue collection in the state.
Awodun, who disclosed that the agency has no plan to increase tax to grow revenue, said their plan is to ensure that all taxable people are brought in to the tax net, adding that when this is done, the state’s revenue profile would be substantially boosted. He lamented that there are several people in this category, but said the agency is working round the clock to ensure that all taxable adults and corporate bodies are captured.
On court action against tax defaulters, Awodun said the agency doesn’t much believe in that line of action, which he said was not only time consuming but also very costly, adding that the agency was embarking on a friendly approach and persuasion, which, he noted, has substantially paid off.
The Chairman, whose tenure would expire in September has declared that he won’t seek reapportionment and neither would he accept reappointment offer from government, said he has garnered enough experience in the past few years both in the private and public sectors and was only willing to go back to the classroom to impact the experience. He said: “The hunger for me to go back to the classroom is very high and if I will not go back to the classroom full time, I will go back on part time basis to impact the experience I have garnered.”
On his likely successor, the Chairman said there are six Directors under him who have been tested and are capable to be in the saddle if given the opportunity, but added that the ultimate decision of who would succeed him rests with government.
He said the community impact services of the agency still continues, especially in maintenance of roundabouts within the state capital, endowment programme in Kwara state University, among others.