A tax expert, Prof Muritala Awodun, has proposed the adoption of new processes and structures to block leakages in revenue collection in the states of the federation.
Awodun, who is the Chairman of Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
Awodun said that a new process of tax collection using the People, Process and Technology (PPT) model would guarantee blockage of revenue leakage in any state.
He said that the PPT model involved the creation of an internal board of revenue service autonomous of the state’s ministry of finance to ensure proper tracking of funds generated by any state and also guaranteed an upscale in the revenue generation.
Awodun advised states to adopt the system by creating an internal revenue system autonomous of the state ministry of finance to assist in blocking revenue leakage.
“When I became chairman of the board, the government decided to create a new law and with that law, they created the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service and made it autonomous of the ministry.
“The board of internal revenue is a department in the ministry of finance. It is an agency responsible for collecting all internally generated revenue within the state, and the service reports directly to the government and not through the commissioner of finance.
“The service has its own staff, so all the old staff who were civil servants had to go to other ministries and then we created a new structure,’’ he said.
Awodun said that the service changed the people, the process of tax collection and the technology of tax collection to what it called the PPT model.
“Now, using technology process, we block all the leakages.
“Before, when you go to the court to collect affidavit, they collect N500 from you and issue you receipt, meanwhile only N50 goes into the government purse.
“There are instances where people bring their own receipts and the money still would not go into the government.
“These are some of the leakages that technology is helping us to work on,” he said.
Awodun urged state governments that adopted the system to continue, saying that citizens should subject themselves to higher education, better management and productivity to enable the system to run without a break. “Even when I am no longer here to head them, they would still know what to do,’’ he said.
Awodun also advised state governments to device means of making tax payment and collection friendly by creating a tax payer service like the customer care service in the corporate world.
“We are concerned about the convenience of the tax payers and this led us to have a Tax Payer Service just like the Customer Care service in the corporate world.
“We also introduced what we called “the Community Impact Programme’’ with which we are able to penetrate the rural areas.
“No matter how little it is, they should also be involved in the tax affairs with which we also meet up to their needs with amenities such as transformer, boreholes, toilets, markets and others.
“All of these efforts help the tax payers understand that the taxes they are paying are beneficial to them.” he said.