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Olaniran Olatona, the chairman of the Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service (EKIRS), disclosed that the state has increased its internally generated revenue from N650 million to N1 billion in 2023, All Nigeria Latest News reports.

The revenue boss, who made the disclosure while speaking with journalists at the weekend in Ado-Ekiti, stated that the IGR increase was made possible without introducing new taxes in the state.

Before assuming office in November 2022, Olatona noted that the state ranked 35th out of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in terms of internally generated revenue (IGR) performance.

The achieved milestone, according to Olatona, resulted from efforts in blocking revenue leakages, leveraging technology in tax collection, and fortifying the tax net.

The EKIRS boss said, “Before now, Ekiti used to rank 35 or 36 out of the 37 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FTC), in IGR collections in the country.

“But in the last ranking, we have moved up to 25th position, which to us is a remarkable achievement.

“We are not allowing this to get to our heads, as we are still working hard to make sure we are in the one-unit position on the ladder.”

Olatona disclosed that the state government is committed to harmonizing its tax collection processes to create a conducive environment for businesses to flourish. He emphasized that revenue harmonization is a pivotal measure in attracting investments and fostering economic prosperity.

He said, “We are about 85 per cent done with the harmonised billings, and by 2024, a large number of taxes will be harmonised to enable business owners to have a bill encompassing all taxes to be paid.

“Our aim is that taxpayers in Ekiti get a document as well as business owners that harmonises all the taxes expected of them to pay.”

The revenue boss counselled business owners to relate directly to the EKIRS office rather than falling prey to fraudulent operators parading themselves as agency representatives.

“For instance, we have been able to prosecute some people arrested for impersonating our staff, while others are still under interrogation and will be prosecuted immediately if found culpable.

“I am calling on business owners that provide hospitality services, expected to be paying consumption tax, to comply as the tax payment is not new in the state.

“Business owners should understand that the payment of these taxes to the government is used to also provide a more friendly business environment for their businesses to thrive, which will bring more prosperity to all.

“I am using this opportunity to also warn tax offenders, who find it convenient not to renew their vehicle licences or fail to renew as at when due, that their vehicles or motorcycles would be impounded.

“And the agency will ensure that your tax clearance is presented before your impounded vehicle is returned, Olatona said.

Olatona maintained the commitment of the Biodun Oyebanji-led administration to continue to create a business-friendly environment to foster economic growth, job creation, and the overall development of the state.

The revenue boss said that the administration in the last year of its existence has responded to the basic and welfare needs of the citizens, which he said was instrumental to the increase in revenue, “with more people and businesses now willing and ready to pay tax to the government because of the dividends of democracy they are enjoying under the new government in Ekiti.”

Olatona assured all residents in the state of deriving valuable benefits from imbibing the culture of tax compliance and encouraged them to avoid the consequences, penalties, and sanctions of non-compliance.

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