■ Generates over N3b in 2017
From Linus Oota, Lafia
Acting Chairman, Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Service Board, Alhaji Usman Okposhi has explained that between January and August 2017, the board has generated over N3billion as internally generated revenue for the state government, noting that the target of the board is to generate up to N25 billion monthly.
Okposhi who spoke exclusively to our correspondent yesterday in Lafia on the performance of the board under his leadership explained that since the creation of the state 21 years ago, the state has not had it so good in terms of revenue generation until he came on board.
He also disclosed that the board in its attempt to block loopholes and leakages in the state, arrested and detained six fake revenue tax collectors in Karu local government area of the state for printing fake receipts and number plate, adding that the board will soon seal up commercial banks for excess charges on government accounts.
He said the target of the board is to generate about N25 billion monthly for the state, noting that he intends to borrow a leaf from the people that have done it well in the past, using Lagos state as a case study.
According to him “From 1996 when the state was created to 1999 during the military era, the IGR of the state was about N20 million monthly, and from 1999 up to 2011 the IGR of the state was between N80 to N90 million monthly until I took over and increased it to over N300 million monthly which is the first of its kind in the history of the state and it keeps increasing, it is my prayer that one day, we can replicate what Lagos is doing in Nasarawa by generating up to N25 billion a month”
He explained that the state government had at different times engaged the services of consultants who took over the board with a target but folded up without meeting the target, adding that the state governor was impressed with what he has done and has donated to the board four operational vehicles to encourage him.
On allegations that he connived with illegal tax collectors and banks to defraud the state of its share of percentage on income tax being deducted, Mr Okposhi explained that the board does not collect tax from organizations or banks directly as it is paid through a bank account with tellers which are all documented.
Mr Okposhi added that the recent problem between the board and some commercial banks in Lafia which led to sealing up their premises was because they refused to remit to the board tax deducted from individual accounts and denied the board’s consultant the opportunity to audit their records on the accounts
He explained that at no point did Olam farms Nigeria limited paid tax amounting to N200 million monthly as alleged, adding that the highest tax Olam farms has paid is N1.3 million monthly saying that it is very easy to detect its fake receipts because it is printed by government security minting and printing company in Lagos with security features embedded in it.