ONDO STATE STUDIES LAGOS REVENUE COLLECTION PROCESSES

To ensure an effective and efficient tax collection process in Ondo State that will help boost the State’s Internally Generated Revenue, a team of delegates had been sent to Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) on a two day study tour of LIRS’s revenue generating methods.
Led by the Director of Informal Sector in Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr.Bunmi Alade, the delegates underwent thorough study of the structure and business processes of LIRS as presented by director of each directorate.
They were made to know that LIRS is autonomous with several directorates and units to enhance ease tax collection that will be beneficial to both the government and the tax payers.
Though supervised by the Lagos State Ministry of Finance, LIRS has directorate of Personal Income Tax, directorate of New Growth Areas, directorate of Informal Sector, of Tax Audit, of legal Services, of Administration and Human Resources, and directorate of Finance and Accounts.
Aside these, LIRS operates 38 major and 42 mini tax stations, while the mini ones are located within the market areas for ease of payment and collection of tax.
Giving a brief summary of the structure and activities of LIRS, its Chairman Mr. Olufolarin Ogunsanwo noted that Lagos Revenue Service’s process has been automated through an in-house ICT, and operates zero-cash tax collection.
He further noted that LIRS has increased the State’s IGR by executing programmes and implementing strategies which have impacted positively on revenue generation and collection, adding that Lagos IGR has moved from monthly average of about N600m in 1999 to about N23b in 2015.
According to him, autonomy is a must for effective tax administration as it is a distinct identity that makes the board to be respected and free from bureaucratic bottleneck and politics, and also allows a private sector-driven operation system.
He therefore appreciated Ondo State government, Board of Internal Revenue and the World Bank for choosing LIRS as a model for study towards improved IGR.
At the end of the two days study, it was recommended that to enhance rapid prosecution of recalcitrant taxpayers and create tax awareness in Ondo State, there is a need to establish Revenue Courts manned by Magistrates trained in tax matters and also enactment of tax administration laws to give the legal framework for the operation of the board.
Also, creation of a functional public education and enlightenment unit and standard ICT unit for full automation of all business processes are needed.
To boost the morale of the staff and enhance their performance, there is need for the BIR to train and give them incentives to motivate them, and embark on the production of Staff policy document, audit and other operation manuals to guide the conduct of the Staff.
Other recommendations include, use of POS&PPC machines within the markets for ease of collection, recruitment of University degree/HND holders into the service to enhance performance, use of various interest groups and personalities, and cashless revenue collection system.
Responding, Mr. Bunmi Alade thanked management and Staff members of LIRS for the opportunity to study the business processes of the organization, and for taking them on a visit to a few of their outstations.

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