Group Hails Oyebanji as Ekiti Emerged First in IGR Collection Rating – IROHIN ODUA

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Group Hails Oyebanji as Ekiti Emerged First in IGR Collection Rating

By Yomi Alaba

….says rating shows governor has progressive economic policy

A business oriented group in the Southwest Nigeria, New Initiative for Business Rights(NIBR), has said the report of favourable rating of Ekiti State in revenue collection by a prestigious tax organisation confirmed that Governor Biodun Oyebanji has progressive economic policy to propel prosperity.

The group, which described Ekiti’s meteoric rise in IGR collection ladder, as contained in the report of Joint Tax Board(JTB), clearly attested to how effective Governor Oyebanji’s economic policies were to launch the state to higher pedestal.

The commendation was contained in a statement signed by the Coordinator and Chairman of Trustees of NIBR, Dr. Ademola George- Coker, and released to newsmen in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday.

In the report circulated by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) at its 155th meeting at Zuma Rock Resort, Suleja, Niger State, Ekiti State ranked first in the 2023 Annual Growth Rate Ranking, the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increased from ₦17.03b in 2022 to ₦29.82b in 2023, representing a 75 percent growth rate.

Commenting on the rating, George-Coker, said it was wondrous how Governor Oyebanji achieved the feat without making the citizens to undergo harrowing experience of heavy tax as obtainable in some states of the federation.

George-Coker maintained that Governor Oyebanji didn’t introduce harsh tax policy that could drive away investment, rather he stunned the citizens with good performance, thereby propelling the tax payers to respond positively to their statutory obligations.

The NIBR boss hailed the governor for being people-centric in tax policy and still achieved tremendous feat, saying this was a well amplified testimony to his astuteness in implementation of the right policy.

“We are pleased to hear the IBR attributing the improvement on trust surplus in governance, which elicited significant growth in IGR by the state.

“It is not doubting the fact that Governor Oyebanji must have accomplished this feat by appealing to tax payers through his stunning and enigmatic performance.

“IGR collection in a country like Nigeria,with high poverty index and lacklustre attitude to tax payment, requires the drivers of the economy gaining the people’s trust, so that they can be receptive to tax ideas and initiatives.

“We could recollect that upon assumption of office, Governor Oyebanji did promise to block loopholes draining the revenues in all MDAs. He also pledged not to impose heavy tax burden on the citizens, yet, he accomplished this feat.

“Before some states could shore up their revenue profiles, citizens and business owners had to pay heavy tax, which chased away investors from such business environment. But there wasn’t any case of such in Ekiti State.

“Our findings revealed that investors are making inroad into Ekiti for huge investments in.all sectors. I think other governors must learn from Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s IGR initiatives to really have a subnational that can stand on their own even without federal allocations”.

However, George-Coker counseled the Governor to invest more in tourism, entertainment and hospitality sectors to increase Ekiti’s revenue base exponentially in the 2024 IGR report

As highlighted in the JTB’s report, Ekiti State moved up to 16th position in the Total Collections Ranking from its previous ranking of one of the worst five.

Under the Direct Assessment Parameters, the dynamism of Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service is evident as Ekiti State improved from 33rd to 15th position.

The State also ranked 25th in Withholding Tax collections and 28th in MDA collections.

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