The need for increased Internally Generated Revenue
By Jeo Nwachukw
One of the primary goals of any people-oriented government is to improve the welfare of the masses by building infrastructure, creating jobs, generating employment paying salaries, pensions and provision of sound education health-care delivery services. To accomplish these there is a compelling need for key stakeholders, drivers of the economy and all tax paying entities to jointly and severally embrace the culture of tax payment in order to enhance internally generate Revenue base of the State. Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma administration is currently providing appropriate legal backing to facilitate the exploration of new revenue sources and enhanced existing ones. Today, tax defaulting institutions are being sensitized.
It is pertinent to ask the fundamental question of how we can achieve a society with basic amenities, guaranteed security of life and property as well as efficient utilities such as water, motorable roads and electric power supply. The funding of government programmes all over the world is a shared responsibility. Which is predicated on the principle that every citizen is inextricably bound to contribute to the central pool of government finances. To attain this fundamental objective, the executive Chairman IIRS has adopted a strategy to beef up the state revenue base on recognition of the fact that Internally Generated Revenue is a veritable source of funds to all tiers of government. Presently the Chairman of IIRS Prince Emma Onunaku has embarked on aggressive measures to increase the Imo IGR. There has also been increased sensitization of the people through tax and Revenue summits and conferences.
Prince Emma Onunaku, the Chairman of IIRS said that Imo State is a challenging business environment but the present administration is offering investors and stakeholders the auspicious opportunity to succeed through the implementation of the state’s investment policy. Among the incentives packaged for the effective realization of these noble objectives include a liberalized regime of policies, erection of awareness on the current financial realities and challenges facing the state as well as fashioning out the most useful and appropriate approach to secure maximum collection of IGR.
It must be noted that taxation is the mainstay of any nation’s economy, therefore tax evasion is a disservice to one’s state. Addressing stakeholders recently Prince Emma Onunaku declared that the government can sustain the ambitious target if transforming Imo State into a model modern state only if it has adequate financial resources. Following the economic meltdown coupled with the futility of completely depending on statutory allocation of funds from the Federation Account, Governor Hope Uzodinma gave marching orders to all top government officials to embark on sensitization of the tax paying entities in the state.
It is however worrisome how those most high net-worth individuals who own a lot of property within the state such as Hotels, Business Centres, Shopping Malls, Petrol Stations among others find it difficult to declare their actual income for proper tax Assessment. What the individual is supposed to pay must be seen to be a reflection of his income guided by subsisting regulations. A situation whereby only the public servants are properly assessed and pay their taxes regularly yet least remunerated is unfortunate. All the chronic and potential tax defaulters should examine their consciences and see if they are actually helping to build a virile and egalitarian society, We should join hands with the state Government in the campaign against tax evasion now.
All Imolites need from the Government of Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma even if it requires performing miracles is action.
Dr. Joseph Aniemeka Nwachukwu
Public Affairs Analyst