By Austin Ajayi
The survival of any government at any level depends on it’s revenue generation, COVID-19 has poised great challenge to all sectors of the economy.
In this report, correspondent, Austin Ajayi writes on the challenges of Adamawa state Board of Internal Revenue.
Adamawa Board of Internal Revenue, a body responsible for tax administration, could be traced as far back as 1962 under the Personal Income Tax Law (laws of Northern Nigeria 1963).
This law saddled the Commissioner of Revenue as the Chief Executive overseeing tax administration in the then Northern Region.
In 1986 the then Gongola State Government by virtue of Edict No. 14 of 1986 gave the revenue Division an autonomy as Gongola State Board of Internal Revenue whose Chief Executive was Director Internal Revenue as against Commissioner of Revenue. The Board under this Edict has the Commissioner of Finance as the Chairman of this Board.
In 1991 with the bifurcation of Gongola State into Adamawa and Taraba States, the Board’s nomenclature was changed to Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue.
However, it retained the powers conferred on it by the Edict though limiting it function to Adamawa State.
In 1993 with the promulgation of Decree 104 of 1993 (now Personal Income Tax Act Cap. P.8 laws of the Federation), this ushered the establishment of uniform Board of Internal Revenue for the various States in the Country (Adamawa State inclusive).
This law gave the Board the needed autonomy recognizing a professional in tax administration as the Chief Executive and the Chairman steering the activities of the Board.
In 2007 the Adamawa State government in conformity with the provision of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) enacted the Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue Law No: 4 of 2007.
This law encompasses the composition, function and operation of guide of the Board.
Following the out break of COVID-19 in Nigeria, Adamawa state government announced COVID-19 Pandemic relief package for tax payers.
Hamman Adama Njabari Executive Chairman, Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue in an interview with our correspondent said the state has complied with the directive.
According to him, we extended the timeline for filing returns from 31st March to June and timeline for withholding Tax from 21st to the last day of every month since the Pandemic.
The Board has also implemented the 50% reduction of personal income tax bill (PIT) for the informalsector in the state.
The executive chairman added that there is also a waiver of 50% arrears on back duty assessment remitta aid before September 2020 among other relief packages.
” All these relief packages have affected the revenue generation of the state but we need to do this so as to make life easy for everyone in the state.”
Since the appointment of Hammaadama Njabari and the monumental change in the attitude of the staff and a conducive environment put in place, the board generated N6.2b in 2018 and N9.7bn in 2019 but this year may not be as rosy.
With the new commitment and his mission statement exhibited, new outlets were opened to generate revenue through learner’s registration which is the first in the history but the Pandemic has forced the board to explore other means of maintaining the improved revenue generation.
This was accentuated by the Chairman of the board for the fact that staffs are the engine of the board in the art of collecting the desired revenue generation for the state, we have to protect them from the virus, it has slowed the board.
We will not be able to generate as much as we did last year because of the pandemic, all the sectors have affected be it public or private but the good thing is, the people are getting the relief packages by the Adamawa state government.
How has the people feared during the pandemic? This one question in the mind of the people.
Garba Usokoh, a small scale business man in Yola told our reporter that he makes over 30% of profit last year but with the COVID-19, it has been very difficult to meet up with the challenge posed by the pandemic but the board has made it easy for me, he said.
But with the relief package we are moving on, “there has been reductions in the tax we pay before and what we pay now.”
Also appreciating the government gestures, are group of small scale business enterprises, Mr. James Agbeido who spoke on behalf other small scale business said the pandemic relief package is not the only solution to the problem.
” We are paying our tax and I hope they give us what we deserve. I am happy with the COVID-19 relief packages, I have seen it and also I have accepted it,” he said.