The Federal Capital Territory-Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) has convened a stakeholders meeting to harmonise taxes and levies to address issue of multiple taxation in FCT.
The Executive Chairman of the FCT-IRS, Mr Abdullahi Attah at the stakeholders retreat in Lagos on Tuesday said the harmonisation of taxes and levies would help boost revenue generation in the territory.
The retreat was themed “Towards a Harmonised Revenue Management Framework in the FCT”.
Attah explained that his agency could not continue to work in silos hence decided to reach out to all stakeholders and embrace a new way and approach of working to achieve their shared objectives.
He said the need for harmonised systems, structures, processes and procedures in the territory could never be over emphasised.
“When the issue of harmonised systems or a framework is discussed in the FCT, there is usually some concern about what is sought to be achieved.
“The Area Councils, as we know are autonomous and self-governing, however, we all form part of the FCT administration, with a focus on providing services to indigenes and residents of the territory.
“The issue therefore is how best to work together within the existing governance system in the FCT and ensure that we are able to pool resources, utilise existing systems, knowhow and even data to enable us maximise the revenue generation potentials of the FCT-IRS.
“In doing this, we do not believe that any one organisation within the FCT administration has all the information and knowledge, but if we work together, then we will improve collaboration, exchange of information and subsequently enhance our ability to improve revenue generation and management within the FCT” he explained.
In his remark, the FCT Minister, Alhaji Muhammad Bello said the FCT was aware of challenges associated with claims over rights of revenue collection in the territory and attendant issues of multiple taxation, and this greatly impacted adversely on the ease of doing business.
Represented by FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, Bello said this multiple taxation was capable of eroding confidence and builds discouragement instead of the other way round.
According to him, the task before the participants in this retreat is simple but very essential and esteemed: efficient collection and effective management of our internal revenue.
“We are all aware of the challenges associated with claims over rights of revenue collection in the FCT and attendant issues of multiple taxation.
“And this greatly impacts adversely on our ease of doing business because it erodes confidence and builds discouragement instead of the other way round.
“Several meetings have been conducted in this regard, and several decisions have been reached but we are not there yet. If we were home and dry on this knotty issue, we won’t be here, am I right?
“I am sure our Area Council Chairmen or their representatives and other stakeholders are also very concerned about this, and on this page in this matter.
“I therefore strongly urge us to make judicious use of this trip to Lagos. Let posterity be kind to us, and remember us for bringing lasting solutions to this lingering problem.
“We must work out a mutually acceptable mechanisms that is foolproof, such that can block all loopholes in the collection of our huge revenue resources. Let us also look into ways we can expand our revenue base in fallow areas” the minister said.