Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government is determined to revolutionise the state’s tax administration and improve its revenue generation systems so as to ensure the delivery of the government’s promise of making Edo great again.
Obaseki disclosed this during the flag-off of a 5-day training workshop for 200 Tax Relationship Managers and Officers at the Government House in Benin City.
The newly appointed revenue collectors will ensure that tax assessments generated are effectively served to taxpayers across the state’s 18 local government councils, ensuring that the assessments are acceptable and payments made accordingly.
The governor said the programme, tagged ‘Project Reset’ is a new and improved approach to tax administration in Edo State, noting that those trained will help the State in data and information collection for adequate economic planning.
Obaseki said: “We are resetting the economic landscape of Edo State; we had about 1,000 enumerators go round to help us collect data across the state.
“They are helping us collect information and data for economic planning. These people are beyond revenue collectors or revenue agents alone; they have a lot of information and technology to help the Government know what is going on, what is to be done, the pressures on people and the communities.
“This is important so that we can bring more people into the tax net. The project is unique as I am not sure that there is any other State in Nigeria that is doing this today. It is about citizens’ participation; their existence is not only in revenue collection but also to help the government get feedback on how to improve the lives of the people.”
The governor continued: “With this system, we will now streamline the process. People will be registered with tax identity cards (IDs), pay taxes and we will ensure that all taxes collected go straight to the Government. People will not be allowed to pay cash as all taxes collected will be accounted for.
“We are using technology to drive the process; it’s not only workers that earn salaries that are to pay tax but also others that earn more. Some of our people currently don’t pay taxes and my administration is working to bring them all into the tax net.
“As a government, we are working hard to provide the basics for Edo people. We are working hard to improve electricity, security; build infrastructure and other activities to improve lives and such activities need to be financed. To do more, we need to pay our taxes as I assure you that our administration will judiciously use and account to the people how it was utilized and never will it be shared,” he assured.
One of the project coordinators for the programme and Managing Director of Edo State Geographic Information Service (EDOGIS), Arch. Francis Evbuomwan said the programme is the beginning of a new dawn for tax collection in Edo State.
He noted: “Land use charge is a development tax, which the government will channel to the areas it was generated. All these are some of the details that will be taken out to the public and letting them know why they have to support the Government by paying their taxes.”