Taxation in Benue State; Introduction
Benue like every other state in Nigeria has been hit by dwindling income occasioned by the continuous down turn of oil prices plunging to record lows in over 40 years. The state, according to oral testimony from the Governor and other state officials has a monthly salary bill of about 3.7 billion. Over the past year, the state has received below this sum from the federation account monthly, an income stream representing about 85% of the state income. This implies that the revenue accrual to the state cannot cover for payment of workers salary left alone fund capital projects and other running activities of Government. In the midst of this downturn and the apparent need to increase revenue, there has been a growing call for domestic resource mobilization through diversification of our local economy, plugging leaks, waste, stamping out government corruption, and a refocus on taxation. In this staggered piece, I will be focusing on the challenge of taxation in Benue and maybe more.
The Benue Internal Revenue Service Board, (BIRS) is saddled with the responsibility of leading the quest for increasing Internally Generated Revenue. The board has by its own standards as prescribed by the relevant laws creating the agency, injected new personnel into the board to achieve this new goal with a Chairperson at the helm of affairs. A dynamic, creative, energetic woman who seems to me, a committed tax collector. It is important to point that taxation plays a crucial role in promoting economic activity and growth. It is through taxation that government ensures that resources are channeled towards important projects in the society, while giving succour to the weak. The new drive for revenue in Benue State to augment whatever funds come in from the federation account, borrowings and other investment is not without its challenges.. As earlier acknowledged, government requires tax revenue to discharge its responsibilities to the citizens. but this cannot be done in a haphazard, arbitrary and capricious manner or in an environment and or citizens, for what ever reasons all negatively charged towards taxation.
I am David Habba