By Philip Yatai/Kaduna
Kano revenue officers are in Kaduna to understudy the innovations and operational models of the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service, under Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
Kano is aiming high as it targets boosting its internally generated revenue (IGR) to about N200b in 2030.
In 2019, Kano generated just N40 billion in IGR. Kaduna made N44billion.
However, in the first half of 2020, the pandemic year, Kano made N1billion, against Kaduna’s N14 billion.
The Chairman, Kano State Internal Revenue Service, Abdulrazak Salihi, who heads the team told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Friday, that the move was to boost IGR in Kano state.
He said that the team, including members of the Finance and Chieftaincy Affairs Committees, Kano State House of Assembly, was at the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) to study and share experiences.
According to him, the goal is to learn innovative ways to improve revenue collection in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and local government areas of the state.
“We are all aware that oil revenue is no longer sustainable in financing development projects and state governments across the country are developing innovative ways to boost IGR.
“But sadly, we realised that the revenue collection particularly in our local government areas was grossly inefficient and far below the IGR potential and decided to do something about it.
“Kaduna State is already successful in this area, so we decided to come to KADIRS to learn how we can enhance revenue collection in Kano state,” he said.
According to him, Kano is a commercial state with huge informal businesses that must be brought into the taxpayers’ net and develop strategies to efficiently collect all revenues due to the state government.
The executive chairman said that so far, the team had learnt a lot, particularly how to exploit the untapped revenues in the LGAs and boost revenue collection by MDAs.
“One major takeaway is the need to review our tax laws and we have interacted with members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly on how to go about it,” Salihu said.
Similarly, Mr Magaji Zarewa, Chairman House Committee on Finance, Kano State House of Assembly, told NAN that KADIRS had demonstrated an exemplary skill in revenue collection.
“We are here to see what the agency is doing and the magic behind its successes.
“We will go back and look at all our tax laws and make amendments where necessary and harmonise them to ensure efficient revenue collection in the state,” Zarewa said.
The Executive Chairman, KADIRS, Dr Zaid Abubakar said that both Kaduna and Kano states do not collect up to 60 per cent of its potential IGR.
Abubakar told NAN that experience and information sharing between the two states was key to creating new ideas that would significantly boost IGR of the states.
He said that the agency had set a target of N100 billion IGR by 2023 and N200 billion by 2030, based on its Medium and Long-Term Revenue Collection Plan.
“We have looked at what areas we can improve to enhance revenue collection, and looking at all the available revenue sources, we are confident that we will achieve that target.
“In fact, we have the capacity to go beyond the target, provided all the necessary machineries are put in place.
“Considering the support we are getting from Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, and all things being equal, we should be able to collect N200 billion or more by 2030,” he said.