The Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue says it has captured an additional 295,222 taxpayers into its database.
Akin Akinsehinwa, the Chairman of the board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Akure on Thursday that the state now had 355,222 taxpayers.
Akinsehinwa, who was appointed in 2014, said the board was making efforts to improve on the state’s internally-generated revenue (IGR).
He said that before 2014, the state had 60,000 taxpayers because there was no standard way of tax collection.
“The number is still not enough and we are striving to get it increased and we will fish out those still in hiding.
“For instance, despite Gov. Mimiko’s magnanimity to the artisans in the state, they are not cooperating with us; they did not even pay anything last year.
“When we took over, we started our transformation by creating efficient directorates, making us to have clear cut reports on what we get, so that we could have a standard process of tax collection.
“We had to tackle elusively coordinated directorates and restructured and created relevant departments such as Tax Enlightenment and Education Department, and a Legal Department, which intensified our enforcement,” he said.
The board chairman said he met a leakage process because of the manual process of doing things, which gave room for a lot of manipulations.
“There were a lot of fake papers flying in the board and our accounts were not properly monitored, which allowed some banks to manipulate and suppress the board’s accounts.
“But having worked in banks for 19 years, I know how to track them down by monitoring them on a regular basis.
“We had to do a massive bank duty assessment and we generated over N1 billion between 2014 and 2015,” he recalled.
Akinsehinwa said the board was able to deal with high indebtedness of Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state which hindered the state revenue.
“Before 2014, we were receiving N15 million monthly as taxes from federal ministries, departments and agencies in this state, but now we are getting about N50 million monthly,” he said.
According to him, it is pitiful that some state ministries, departments and agencies do not know their roles as tax collectors.
Akinsehinwa said that staff of the board were subjected to a series of trainings and seminars to boost their professional efficiency.
“When I was appointed, we had to send the staff on mandatory professional courses to re-orientate them, while we sought redeployment of those who were unyielding,” he said.
The chairman noted that the board also introduced a Land Use Charge, to widen the scope of taxes.
The revenue board boss added that there was a plan to set up a special court to hear tax cases in the state.