By Kingsley Abavo, Benin

* As captured tax-payers grow from 160,000 to 519,543

HE Gov Godwin Obaseki

The monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Edo State has hit the mark of N2.8bn, from the average of N1.6bn after four years.

This was made possible, by the deployment of Big Data in optimizing tax administration by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led People Democratic Party (PDP) administration.

Executive Chairman, Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS), Igbinidu Inneh made the disclosure in a paper titled: ‘Taxation, Rule of law and Voluntary Compliance: role of the Nigerian Bar Association,’ presented during the NBA Law Week 2021 which held a couple of days ago, in Benin City.

The initiative has grown individual data capture of taxpayers from 160,000 in 2017, to 519,543 as at May 2021, he asserts.

Inneh said Edo now ranks second behind Lagos State in total number of taxpayers with Tax Identification Number (TIN).

“Our individual data capture has grown from 160,000 in 2017 to 519,453. Edo ranks 2nd behind Lagos in total number of taxpayers with TIN.

“The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the State has grown from pre-2017 Five Year Monthly Average of N1.6 billion to Q1 2021 monthly average of N2.8 billion”.

He explained, that in an effort to clean up the tax data, the service had to contend with massive leakage of revenues arising from non-collection and suppression of cash collections by appointed collectors across the State, as well as illegal collections and inefficient collection system.

Further, he adds that innovative approaches were deployed “to reform the system so as to ensure value for money, drive enlightenment and social inclusion, deploy novel technology, guarantee a conducive legal and regulatory environment, prioritize use of data and develop requisite human capacity to drive the new system.”