The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called for the use of technology to strengthen the nation’s weak database for taxpayers. NGF chairman and governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who made the call yesterday in Abuja at the 6th Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) National Peer Learning Event, noted that taxpayers’ enumeration is pivotal to the success of the series of reforms that are ongoing in the country.
According to Fayemi, the NGF is not canvassing or proposing for new taxes to be introduced, rather, it is emphasising the need for the internal revenue generating agencies to be more strategic, innovative and pragmatic in administering taxes, fees, levies and charges that have been legally prescribed for collection across various jurisdictions.
Fayemi said the forum was actively engaging the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning on the provisions of the new Finance Bill, especially those impacting state taxes and jurisdiction.
“It is important the bill services the interest of all and not a few. At the state level, we are professionalising our internal revenue services to be taxpayer-centric and responsive to the new normal of digitalising tax administration.
“The world’s trade and financial market are going digital and we must adapt or be left behind,” he said. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, told the governors that the Federal Government had introduced the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) to enhance fiscal revenues from six per cent to 15 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2023.
According to Ahmed, the initiative seeks to achieve sustainability in revenue generation, identify and enforce new and existing revenue streams, and achieve cohesion through people and tools.
She explained further: “Through this initiative, we are building and strengthening sustainable revenue generation systems through the application of the right incentives, safeguards, and performance management systems.
“There are several initiatives under the SRGI with revenue generation and enhancement potential, which are closely monitored, using data-driven performance management to achieve the results and set targets.
“With the SRGI, we are partnering with interested state ministries of finance and state revenue generating agencies in achieving the set target of attaining revenue to GDP of 15 per cent by 2023.”
By Matthew Ogune,