In a bid to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Kwara and Cross Rivers States financial officials have begun to understudy the strategies adopted by their Lagos counterparts to collect taxes and other levies within the state.
The representatives from both states were put through the processes for revenue collections particularly how to prevent double taxation and how to coordinate the collection processes without hindrance.
Speaking at the visit to Ministry of Finance, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, the Special Adviser, Planning Commission to Cross Rivers state governor, Ted Inyang, appreciated Lagos Government for a good presentation of the procedures for revenue generation.
In the same vein, the leader of delegates from Kwara state, Olatunji Balogun, who is Director, Admin & Operations, expressed happiness that Lagos officials painstakingly took his team through the process of evaluation and strategy deployed in enhancing revenue generation in the State, through the exchange of ideas, maintaining that he looked forward to the compilation of reports for presentation and review.
Responding, Commissioner for Finance in Lagos, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, reiterated that the State Government would continue to embark on knowledge exchange with interested State governments to harmonise finance administration across the Nation.
Olowo, who commended his Cross Rivers counterparts, Asuquo Ekpeyong, said that the choice of Lagos as a case study attests to the modest successes recorded by the State Government.
Acknowledging the various reforms introduced by successive administrations in the area of Land Use Charge over the years, including the administration of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Commissioner noted that Lagos had been very consistent in its land use charge and positively addressed complaints with amicable solutions provided for aggrieved residents.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Yemi Ayoola, added that the State’s operational system in revenue generation is distinct because all MDAs, depending on their Ministerial responsibilities, ensure that revenues are paid in accordance with specified codes into a central purse, known as the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
Ayoola mentioned that enumeration and distribution of bills to property owners in Lagos State are handled seamlessly by Land Use Charge consultants, who ensure that residents receive bills without any burden on the government.
“Lagos State has shifted from an Excel sheet system to a robust E-Property Tax System, known as e-PTS, in order to reduce all human interface with computation of the bills and also promote transparency and accountability”, the Permanent Secretary explained.