Imo Government Introduces Unified Revenue Collection System, As Onwunali Moves Against Illegal Tax Collectors

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Dan Opara

Days of  illegal taskforces  and tax collectors operating in Imo State,the Eastern Heartland are numbered following the introduction of a unified revenue collection system by governor Emeka Ihedioha led administration.

Briefing journalists over the weekend in Owerri, the Executive Chairman of Imo State Internal Revenue Service(IIRS), Nze Charles Onwunali disclosed that action plans have been laid down to ensure strict compliance with the newly introduced unified revenue collection system before end of this month. Nze Onwunali opted that the central billing system will enhance harmonization of taxes and ameliorate difficulties associated with the state internal revenue generation. He said that the beauty of engaging harmonized revenue collection was also to put a stop to the incessant rate of same revenue collection by different government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs as well as curbing frauds.

According to him, plans are underway in order to harmonize revenue between local and state governments where sharing formula will be set aside. “By end of this month, the plans will be completed. For instance, Imo State Internal Revenue Service can collect revenue on behalf of the 27 council areas of Imo State. We are trying to identify all the illegal revenue collectors. Why the immediate past administration failed was because of absent of Treasury Single Account, TSA. His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Nkem Ihedioha started by announcement of executive order 005 making it a crime for MDAs to operate a revenue account, and also directed banks to close all the revenue accounts. So, the last administration was a regime of breeziness, we are currently embarking on the  consultation process with the local governments to ascertain specified jurisdictions for which we can collect revenue. Abiola said, “you can’t shave a man without his consent”. Honestly, the cost of collecting revenue will be drastically reduced”, Nze Onwunali assured.

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The Revenue Service Boss noted that the Treasury Single Account, TSA introduced by the present rebuild Imo administration was aimed at enhancing transparency in revenue collection as well as getting funds together and proper accessibility of government for developmental purposes. He opined that 2020 budgetary system will streamline and incapsulate all the needs of  MDAs and prepar them for strict compliance with the TSA.

Similarly, Nze  Onwunali has  intensified war against illegal task forces and tax collectors in the state urging members of the general public not to patronize or pay revenue to unauthorized IIRS agent. “What is happening is not strange neither is it peculiar to Imo state. It is unfortunate that some people hide under the gap of change of government to cause confusion by defrauding unsuspected citizens in the name of collecting revenue for government. We have arrested some of them last two weeks,and they are currently facing legal battle in the court. We have introduced Imo IGR pay- direct account where payments can be made in every bank with inscription for which services being paid. I have enthroned a new culture of transparency, accountability and efficiency in Imo State Internal Revenue Service. I have also introduced “ownership approach to do business”, the IIRS Executive chairman concluded.

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