By: Wisdom Acka
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on revenue harmonisation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been signed between the FCT Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) and Kuje Area Council.
The signing was part the revenue harmonisation drive embarked upon by the FCT Administration and the six Area Councils.
FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, who witnessed the signing in his office, stated that the harmonisation initiative would “address issues related to multiple taxation and foster a more business-friendly environment in the city.”
Adesola, while attributing the challenges faced in the process to lack of mutual trust and insufficient teamwork for the implementation, however, said he felt satisfied and fulfilled.
“Today, I am fulfilled. The journey towards harmonisation and ease of doing business started as way back as 2012. Efforts to conclude it had been very challenging, because of lack of mutual trust and inadequate team work for the implementation,” the Permanent Secretary said.
“In 2012, we didn’t have FCT-IRS and the Service came to be as a creation of the law in 2015 and had to grable with teething problems before it eventually became operational in 2018,” he added.
Adesola stated this and assured: “Harmonizing revenue collection is not amounting to concession, the task before FCT-IRS is to collect the revenue on behalf of other revenue agencies and Area Councils and remit it to them in accountable and transparent manner. “
Executive Chairman, FCT-IRS, Haruna Abdullahi, after the signing, noted that all concerns raised by stakeholders “were valid”; assuring that they would be addressed in order to achieve greater understanding.
He stressed that the MoU would provide stakeholders a clear framework, outlining each party’s roles and shared responsibilities in the new revenue initiative.
According to him, it would also serve as a template and a beacon of hope, demonstrating the possibilities when organizations collaborate.
Corroborating the Permanent Secretary, the Acting Executive Chairman also acknowledged challenges; saying they would be overcomed by “determination, integrity, and commitment to openness”.
His words: “This is not just about Kuje, it is a template and beckon of hope on what can be achieved when organisations come together. And I will also have to say here that all concerns are valid and that is why we are here.”
“We’ll continue to engage major stakeholders and continue to clarify issues.
that are a bit concerning and clarify according to the law and every stakeholder has a reason to ask questions,” he stressed.
“As we embark on this harmonisation journey, I want to assure all residents of the city that every contributed kobo will be accounted for and used judiciously”, he pledged.
Abdullahi, therefore, commended the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Adesola Olusade and the Kuje Area Council Chairman, Abdullahi Sabo, for their determination and support.
Sabo who expressed confidence in the ability of the FCT-IRS to handle revenue collections for the Council, advised on the need for improvement and standardization of data for automation of revenue collection that would eliminate cash collection.
He restated his commitment to the success of the project and indicated that the other Area Councils would soon join in signing the MoU with the FCT-IRS.