By: Wisdom Acka
FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, has inaugurated the FCT Joint Revenue Committee (JRC) to ensure harmonisation and consolidation of revenue collection in the FCT.
Performing the inauguration in Life-Camp, Abuja on Thursday, Bello explained it was pertinent to modernise the tax system in FCT, properly engage the stakeholders so as to enhance overall economic development of the Territory and the residents.
According to him, the terms of reference for the committee were broad and clear, and they bother on addressing revenue concerns of multiple taxation, resolving revenue disputes and enhance revenue generation, among others.
Bello tasked the committee, chaired by Haruna Y. Abdullahi on close collaboration with the six Area Council chairmen.
He words: “What we have seen within the last three years is just the beginning. It is a reality that Nigeria is a large country, and Abuja represents a very important investment hub for people, and you can see the way and manner population is increasing daily.”
“Over the years, opportunities to raise the revenue profile had been missed, but I’m glad that over the last few years, a lot of dialogue has taken place between the FCTA and Area Councils. And I think this collaboration is absolutely essential, and if it is done properly, the FCT will be better for it”.
Advising chairmen of the Area Councils, the Minister opined that it was better to go for 10 percent of a “very large prosperous affluent cake” than 100 percent of something that was close to nothing.
FCT ALGON Chairman, Danladi Chiya who doubles as Chairman, Kwali Area Council noted that revenue streamlining efforts, collection process and modernization of tax system were indication that the ease of doing business has come to stay in the FCT.
“As the Chairmen of the six Area Councils, we will put our heads to make sure that FCT-IRS succeeds, by the grace of God”.
He prayed and thanked the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, for good work done to ensure inclusive and rapid development of the Territory.
In his response, the committee Chairman who is also Acting Chairman, FCT-IRS, Haruna Abdullahi stated that the harmonisation drive had started for a while, promising that the Committee would take one step at a time, even as he solicited continued support of the Area Councils and other stakeholders.
“We are quite excited that this two and half years harmonisation process has cumulated to the committee inauguration.
“This will mean additional revenue to FCTA, which certainly will mean everything to us, in terms of public utilities and services to the people”, he said.
Secretary, Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and Public-Private Partnership, Lukman Agboola Dabiri, earlier stated that the committee’s inauguration marked a “significant milestone in the economic development of the FCT”.
Dabiri stated that establishment was timely and expressed confidence that the FCTA would create a vibrant and financially resilient FCT that would serve as a model for other states through collective efforts of all stakeholders.