Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello, on Monday, said the State Government has been losing N15 billion annually to Federal Capital Territory through wrongful tax remittances.
Alhaji Sani-Bello said this in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun,
at the Ministry headquarters in Abuja The Governor was at the Ministry headquarters in Abuja to seek support of the finance Minister on improving the state’s Internally Generated Revenue IGR
Governor Sani-Bello said that at the moment, the State was generating about N400 million monthly as IGR.
He appealed to the Minister to ensure that taxes deducted from salaries of civil servants staying in Niger were paid to the state.
He added that “in line with our target to increase IGR and provide better services, we have been reviewing the tax collection of Niger.
“Our findings indicate that thousands of those working in the FCT actually reside in Niger State, in areas such as Suleja and parts of Bwari, which borders FCT.
“However, taxes deducted from the salaries were being remitted to FCT on a consistent basis. This had been the case over many years and related to both civil servants and workers engaged by the private sector.
“From our records, the number of people affected was up to 95,000 and the amount being lost monthly by Niger was over N1.3 billion which was over N15 billion every year.
“This money could be used to improve the lives of Niger residents in the areas of Healthcare, Education, Water and Social Services and Job Creation.”
The Governor appealed to the Minister to direct other Federal Government Agencies such as CBN, NDIC, SEC, ICPC, Police, and others to commence remittances directly to Niger Government.
Responding, Kemi Adeosun explained that one of the fundamental of tax payment was that, there must be a link between the tax payment and the services.
She said wrongful tax remittances was a serious problem yet to be resolved in the country.
She said that the problem was not peculiar to Niger alone, citing Lagos and Ogun States where Lagos enjoyed taxes that should have gone to Osun State.
She stated that “it is regrettable that this problem still persists in this country. Losing over N1 billion a month is huge for any state.
“However, what I can commit to now is to help Niger Government to get the rightful tax due to it from Civil servants enrolled on IPPIS.
“As you are aware, not all government workers are on IPPIS, so you will have to meet the other agencies to resolve the issue.”She added
Adeosun commended the state government for the enumeration to come up with figures and facts on tax and gave assurance that the issue of wrongful remittance of tax would be communicated to the office of the Accountant General of Federation to ensure paid directly to the state.
Governor Sani-Bello was accompanied by Chief of Staff, Hon Mikhail Al-Amin Bmitosahi, Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Hon. Mohammed Mundi, Commissioner for Livestock and Fisheries, Hon Nuhu Dukku and permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar.