Monday, 4 February 2019

CRIRS has recorded modest achievements within the last 7 months —Akpanke


Kelvin Obambon|4 January 2019 

The executive chairman of Cross River Internal Revenue Service (CRIRS), Mr Akpanke Ogar, has said the Service has recorded some modest achievements within the last seven months. He stated this in a press conference recently organized by HIT FM in Calabar, the state capital.

The press conference was to keep the public abreast with activities of the State Internal Revenue Service and to also create a synergy between it and the media in driving its sensitization campaign on 'Voluntary Tax Compliance' policy launched recently.

While addressing newsmen, the IRS boss highlighted major areas the revenue collection outfit has recorded modest achievements to include, "sustaining the trend of revenue collection in the State; deepening collaboration and partnership with stakeholders at both State and Local Government levels on the one hand, and with International Development Partners - particularly the World Bank/State and Local Governance Programme(SLOGOR) project, on the other hand; automation of records, processes and services; improvements in data management; improving staff morale; improving tax payer education and enlightenment; training and retraining of staff".

Explaining further, Mr Akpanke said CRIRS has been able to sustain monthly internally generated revenue consistently above the one billion naira threshold. He said the governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has in September 2018 approved performance bonus scheme which is geared toward motivating staff in IRS, adding that a total of one hundred Community Tax Liaison Officers (CTLOs) of Cross River State origin, who were trained by the Federal Ministry of Finance as part of the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), have been pre-qualified and engaged as ad-hoc staff of the Service.

Mr Akpanke also said that IRS has done much in terms of tax payer education and public enlightenment, by creating and deploying innovative social and new media tools in enhancing its operations.

His words: "with the gracious approval of His Excellency the Governor, a performance bonus scheme is currently in place in IRS, geared towards motivating staff. This package became operational in September, 2018.

"The Service has launched a robust website, with several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. In addition a Help Desk has been created for a direct interface with members of the public, with dedicated lines for WhatsApp messaging and audio/video calls."

On its recently launched Voluntary Tax Compliance, the State Internal Revenue Service chairman said that "it is the policy of IRS to pursue an engagement process with the general public that secures Voluntary Compliance in tax and revenue payments."

Mr Akpanke Ogar said the campaign is one of several efforts the Service is making to reposition its service and redefine its relationship with the tax paying public.

He however stated that the campaign is designed in such a way as to impact positively on IRS' tax base and as well as increase the number of tax payers in the informal and structured sectors of Cross River State's economy.

"This policy of Voluntary Compliance enjoys the full support of all stakeholders, including the State Government and the World Bank. Our gathering today is to explore avenues of deepening partnership with the press to achieve full engagement of the public in general and tax payers in particular on the subject of Voluntary Compliance. It is our considered opinion that this would in no small measure assist IRS widen the tax net.", Akpanke pointed out.



Obambon blogs for NEGROIDHAVEN 



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