By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has threatened to sanction any government official violating the newly passed harmonization and administration of revenue law now operating in the state.
Engineer Sule sounded the threat during the opening ceremony of a two-day tax/revenue summit, at the Government House, on Thursday.
According to the Governor, with all hands on deck to see to the passage of the harmonization law, his administration will not tolerate any violation of the law.
Engineer Sule said it has become necessary to harmonize revenue and tax collection in the state because of the harsh economic reality of the country, with Nasarawa State continuing to witness shortfalls in revenue collection, federal allocation and fall in oil prices, even as the country goes into another economic recession.
He noted that even though Nasarawa State has great potentials to be able to stand on its own, with or without federal allocation, this has not been the case, explaining why his administration considered paramount to harmonize revenue collection.
Engineer Sule, who expressed satisfaction when the Chairman of Lafia Local Government Council and ALGON Chairman, Hon. Aminu Muazu Maifata, declared total support for the new harmonisation law, called on other chairmen of the remaining councils, to tow in the line and support the new law guiding tax collection in the state.
The Governor however warned against sharp practices, especially by officials saddled with the responsibility of tax collection, urging them to be truthful and honest in carrying out their duties.
Engineer Sule pointed out that once tax payers realize there is leakage along the line, they are always willing to get their own share, thereby shortchanging government by returning lower taxes, with greedy officials pocketing their share.
“Once we have a few people happier in a society, the few people’s happiness is going to be short lived, because until the whole society is happy, nobody will be happy.
“The essence of you alone, collecting and accumulating wealth and leaving the rest, you will not even enjoy the wealth,” he cautioned.
The Governor said there is no going back on the harmonization law because most of the state’s that have shown success in revenue collection like Lagos State, they have harmonized tax laws in operation.
Earlier, in a goodwill message, state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Associate Professor Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana, said the Nasarawa State Harmonization and Administration of Revenue Law 2020, establishes a system of revenue administration under one roof, with all government revenue generating agencies and local governments retaining their powers to generate but with the process and method of collection to be streamlined under the direct supervision of the board of internal revenue service.
Also speaking, Chairman, Nasarawa State Board of Internal Revenue Services, Hon. Ahmed Yakubu Mohammed, commended Engineer Sule for the vision and political will to see to the passage of the harmonization law.
The revenue board chairman disclosed that with the coming of the Engineer Sule administration, the board has been able to increase internal revenue generation by 100 percent, with Nasarawa State rated among the fastest growing IGRs in the country.