Top News

N60 billion IGR Due A’Ibom Annually If Oil Majors Fulfil Tax Obligations – Okon Okon

By Ekemini Simon



The chairman of Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS), Mr. Okon Okon, has said that Akwa Ibom State Government would generate nothing less than N60 billion annually if only oil companies operating in Akwa Ibom State cooperated with the state in the payment of their taxes.


The chairman, who stated this on Thursday during an exclusive interview with Crystal Express, noted that the state has huge potential for internally generated revenue but are however bedeviled by non-compliance in tax payment, especially with the oil companies operating within the state’s territorial waters.


Mr Okon explained that most of the oil companies are claiming not to operate in the territorial waters of the state in order to deny the state of her rights to earn her rightful revenue through tax.


While noting that the state has started enjoying cooperation with a few oil majors, he lamented that other oil companies like Addax Petroleum Corporation are rather adamant to accord the state tax payment.


According to him, “In a situation where oil majors agree to be operating within the territorial waters of the state, it follows that their oil servicing companies will agree too and that will make them pay taxes.”


Okon stated, “Yearly, we would be able to generate N60 billion conveniently if oil majors are cooperating with us. That would be an average of about N5 billion monthly. If Addax agrees that they are here and are paying their taxes with their oil servicing companies that will become a reality.


“When the parent companies say they are not here, the servicing companies will say they are not here also. But if they cooperate, imagine what that would bring to our economy, but we would get there.”
The AKIRS boss revealed that already the Akwa Ibom State Government is in court with oil companies who have refused to admit operating in the state.


Okon explained that the problem causing the non-cooperation in tax remittance by some companies in the state is because over time, the state ignored taxation and depended heavily on revenue from Federation Account.


He said although revenue generation is a tough task, under Governor Udom Emmanuel, the narrative has changed as the Tax Board and the Agency has been empowered for optimum productivity.
The chairman explained that because of Governor Emmanuel’s interest in internal revenue generation, the state has leapfrogged in revenue generation in the past five years which are: 2015- N14.78 billion, 2016-14.97 billion, 2017- N15.96, 2018- N24.21 billion, and in 2019- N32.29 billion.


RELATED: Non- remittance of Tax : A’Ibom Govt in Legal Battle With Total E&P, Addax


Mr Okon offered insight to the fact that the steady rise in revenue generation for the state stems from the reforms in revenue administration initiated by Governor Emmanuel.


He said that the reform commenced with the granting of autonomy to the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service in June 2016 with consequent inauguration of the current Board in April 2017.


The chairman said to implement the vision of the governor, he designed five goals to meet, which include: to rapidly grow the IGR of the state, change of infrastructure, staff welfare, switch from analogue taxation to digitalization and building of an institution that will guarantee sustained goals of IGR.


Okon stated: “For our first goal, we are committed to always increasing the IGR each year. That, you have seen in our records. We will keep on.


“On our second goal of changing the face of our infrastructure, we want to have good working tools and also have an environment that will make us have a sense of enterprising spirit. We want to break the barriers of bureaucracy. We desire to have a building were all those with us will work together and not in a separate premises.


“We touch meaningfully our staff welfare. We call it humanness. Our staff are those who are the driving force for the state to have improved revenue. So, they must be encouraged in their work.


“We also have the goal of moving quickly from analogue to automation so as to minimize leakages and improve efficiency. This, we have gone far.


“Finally, we are building an institution that will guarantee sustained goal of IGR even when we leave. Until we achieve this, we won’t rest on our oars. This is very dear to our heart. We want an institution that will work for itself and outlive this administration. ”


The chairman pointed out that AKIRS is committed to checking multiple taxation, hence the reason they have activated Joint State Revenue Committee (JSRC) in the state.


He offered insight to the fact that the committee is made up of revenue officers across the 31 local government areas of the state, officers of Federal Internal Revenue Service, revenue generating ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals within the State and Federal Governments.

Related Articles

Back to top button