By Lateef Taiwo
In a move to harmonise and consolidate revenue collection in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chairmen of the six area councils and Minister of the FCT have joined forces to help accelerate the strategic streamlining process within the shortest possible time frame.
To do this, both leaderships of the area councils and FCT Administration has formed and inaugurated a 13-Man FCT Joint Revenue Committee (JRC), following a recent stakeholders Retreat in Akure, Ondo State.
Performing the official inauguration of the committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Haruna Y. Abdullahi, the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello said it was pertinent to modernise the tax system in FCT, with stakeholders engagement in the right manner and way it will enhance overall economic development of the the FCT people and residents.
Bello said the 13-man committee comes with a clear broad mandate and terms of reference that will guide its actions, and ensure it is successful attaining its objectives, as it’s been trusted with people with the critical responsibility to organise tax administration, address various revenue concerns and resolve disputes in the system.
He added that through collaborative effort, the committee will devise strategies to enhance revenue generation through efficient collection process and improved compliance. It will also serve as a mechanism of dispute resolution as well as monitor and evaluate progress and ensure active stakeholders engagement.
“What we have seen within the last three years is just the beginning. It is a reality that Nigeria is a large country, and Abuja represents a very important investment hub for people, and you can see the way and manner population is increasing daily.
“Over the years opportunities to raise the revenue profile had been missed, but I’m glad that over the last few years a lot of dialogue has taken place between the FCTA and Area Council Chairmen, using the FCT-IRS. And I think this collaboration is absolutely essential, and if it is done properly, the FCT will be better for it.
On his part, the FCT ALGON Chairman, Danladi Chiya, who is also the Chairman of Kwali Area Council, noted that the effort to streamline revenue collection process and modernise the tax system, shows that ease of doing business has come to stay in the FCT.
He said: “As the Chairmen of the six Area Councils, we will put our heads to make sure that FCT-IRS succeeds by the grace of God”.
He however, thanked the outgoing FCT Minister for his good work done to ensure inclusive and rapid development of the Territory.
Also speaking, Haruna Abdullahi, Chairman of the committee, who disclosed that the whole concept has been ongoing for a very long time, and noted that inauguration of the committee is one step, which will formaliise what they are about to do in the FCT.
Abdullahi, who is also the Acting Executive Chairman, FCT Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS, noted that the harmonisation will continue with one step at a time, as the secretariat has been inaugurated, and it will drive the whole process.
He explained that even though the FCT-IRS is supposed to drive the process, which is what it has neen doing, but with the support of the Area Councils and other stakeholders its role continues.
He adds: “So we are quite excited that this two and half years harmonisation process has cumulated to the committee inauguration. This, will mean additional revenue to FCTA, which certainly will mean everything to us in terms of public utilities and services to the people.
Earlier, the Secretary, Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and Public-Private Partnership, Hon. Lukman Agboola Dabiri, said the committee’s inauguration marks a significant milestone in the economic development of the FCT, given her unique position in
Nigeria as the seat of power and a symbol of the nation’s unity.
“It is part of the resolutions of the recent stakeholders retreat which brought together key
/stakeholders from the FCT Administration, the six Area
Councils, the FCT Internal Revenue Service and other critical participants from the organized private sector and civil society organisations.