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To standardize tax collection and boost internally produced revenue, the Oyo State government has launched a new app for the electronic collection of various road taxes in the state.

The app’s creator claims that it will significantly improve the relationship between the government and taxpayers in terms of fostering confidence as well as ensure an increase in anticipated revenues by preventing financial leakages and fraudulent activities.

The Chairman of the Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYIRS), Mr. Femi Awakan, noted that Oyo State is already utilizing ICT to drive its economic agenda in accordance with international best practice while speaking during the official launch of the app on Thursday at Simeon Adebo Library, State Secretariat, Ibadan.

 

Awakan bemoaned the effects of what he called “cutting corners” and financial leakages resulting from shady tactics used by tax collectors and deceitful taxpayers, and warned that anyone found trying to engage in such behavior would be subject to the full force of the law.

 

After the event, the OYIRS boss took questions from the media and explained that Oyo State is implementing IT into other road taxes because large sums of money were being lost due to dishonest practices. He also emphasized that the government is determined to increase revenues from other road taxes in the upcoming year and beyond.

He admitted that Oyo State’s current IGR is higher than what it produced the previous year.

The consistent availability of internet, particularly in rural places, is one of the projected obstacles for the new app, according to Awakan, who also noted that it is efficiently intended to operate offline. However, he pointed out that when there is internet connectivity, offline transactions can be downloaded onto the database later.

“I can tell you some of these things can be done offline, we’ve discussed that and looked into it. In fact there are some areas you’ll go and won’t even find internet at all or bad network reception. So, they will be able to use the device offline and after leaving such place you can then download what you’ve recorded”, Awakan stated.

Speaking on measures put in place to prevent saboteurs from frustrating government’s efforts on the new initiative, Awakan pointed out, “If you are caught trying to cut corners, the first thing is I will revoke the agreement we have with you and hand you over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution.

“I’ve arrested so many people this year who were trying to cut corners. Some have been taken to court for prosecution and we will continue in that line. Now I’m the one warning and begging people to comply, but when you come back to beg me after cutting corners I will not listen to you”, he added.

Awakan, however, asserted that no fewer than 7 people were being detained on a weekly basis for engaging in nefarious activities, trying to cut corners, and denying the government of what is owed to her. According to Awakan, it is the citizens’ civic duty and obligation to pay taxes to the government in order for it to fund development projects and programs.

The Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration has consistently improved the state’s IGR since taking office in 2019 without adding to the burden on taxpayers, according to the app developer, MD/CEO of ITC Advisory Services, Mr. Tunde Adaramaja, who also urged stakeholders to comply and provide government with the necessary maximum cooperation.

According to Adaramaja, in order to access all the features installed on the new app for the convenience of electronic tax collection, a super agent who is directly answerable to the state government must enter their unique personal information, including NIN, username, and password. He continued by saying that the sub agents of the super agents would also need to go through the same procedure.

He claims that the software, which is made to function well on smartphones and specific Point of Sale (POS) devices, will be remotely monitored by the app administrator to thwart any attempts to use the app fraudulently.

 

 

 


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