In its tour round the various communities in Kwara South to sensitize, seek for support as well as the blessings of the Royal Fathers, the Executive Chairman, KW-IRS, Dr. Muritala Awodun in company of Director, Admin and Corporate Affairs Directorate, Mrs. Adenike Babajamu and the Deputy Director, Informal Sector, Mr. Lekan Rotimi led the KW-IRS delegates to the palace of the Elese of Igbaja land, HRH, Alhaji. Ahmed Awuni Babalola Arepo III who is the Chairman, Traditional Rulers of Ifelodun Local Government Concil. Present at the event were 22 traditional rulers such as HRH, Oba. A. Adelodun, Elesa of Oke-Ode, HRH, Oba. Y.A Buari, Vice Chairman, Olomu of Omupo, HRH, Oba Adebayo Akolade, HRH, Olora of Ora, HRH, Oba. S.A. Adeyeye, Oludofian of Idofian.
Having paid homage to the Elese of Igbaja land in his Royal Chambers to establish the presence of the KW-IRS team before proceeding to the traditional ruler’s council where the meeting was conducted, the Ifelodun Local Government Chairman, Alhaji Ayinde. A Salami welcomed Dr. Awodun and his team on behalf of the Elese of Igbaja land. He spoke of the importance of money in every subject of man’s need including his existence even in the area of religion. He linked this point to the decision of His Excellency, Alhaji. Abdulfatah Ahmed, the Executive Governor of Kwara State for establishing the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service which is intended to find a lasting solution to the financial situation of the State through the collection of revenue for the State.
The Ifelodun Local Government Chairman confirmed that the establishment of KW-IRS is a relief for the local governments following the harmonization of revenue collection which gives KW-IRS the power to collect revenue on behalf of the local governments. He stressed that this have helped collection at the local government level and have helped moneys collected get to the right coffers. Alhaji. Ayinde Salami applauded the legacy of the Ifelodun Traditional Councils which have supported the Abdulfatah’s administration. He explicated that the traditional rulers of communities in Ifelodun Local Government go as far as paying revenues on behalf of some of their kinsmen that are challenged in one way or the other so as to keep them from being embarrassed by the law.
In his remarks, HRM, Elese of Igbajaland went down the memory lane to when Tax and Agriculture were the major source of income by our nation and the complete deviation from it by our rulers during the oil boom. He was however excited about the decision of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kwara State to pay attention to revenue and also revamp the revenue sector through the establishment of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS).
Full of appreciation for the opportunity given to the KW-IRS team despite the short notice Dr. Muritala Awodun, the Executive Chairman, KW-IRS gave a brief on the rationale for the establishment of the KW-IRS. He established that one of the reasons for the establishment of KW-IRS is to ensure that revenue collected gets to government coffers and also give feedback to the government on the pressing needs of the people for government’s urgent intervention.
Dr. Awodun explained the reasons for the collection of the local government revenue by KW-IRS; for proper accountability and for the harmonization of collection so as to control possible cases of multiple taxation. Dr. Awodun further explicated that this decision was done with the consent of all the local government chairmen in the State with an MOU signedby both parties.
Reacting to the speech delivered by the EC, KW-IRS, the Olomu of Omupo land, HRH. Oba .A. Adebayo Kolade stated that the Land Charge collection will yield more at the State Capital. He stressed that 80% of the buildings they have within their community are dilapidated mud buildings that cannot generate any revenue for the State government. Using his experience as a former revenue collector, he advised strongly that the Service should investigate its proposed consultants before engaging them so as to be sure the required sanity is achieved. He also admonished the management and staff of KW-IRS to be honest, and sincere in their dealings with the people so as to merit the desired trust. He however called for the harmonization of the development levy to be inculcated into the PIT for the artisans so as to further control cases of multiple taxation.
Dr. Muritala Awodun also spoke on the Kwara Resident Identification Project which is conducted by the State government to get the database of the residents of Kwara so the government can through the database generated make necessary provisions for its citizens. He however elucidated the importance of having the KRIN number which would be beneficial to the residents of the State at some point of accessing government facility from next year. He stated that KW-IRS would engage the traditional rulers to coordinate revenue collection for KW-IRS.
The Elesa of Oke-Ode requested to know if the rate for urban and rural is the same while HRH. Oba. Agboola (A.S), admonished the management of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) to itemize the necessary payment via documentation and translate it to the major languages in Kwara. He said this would guide people and educate them on what to pay for and how much to pay. He further explained that this would also be a form of check and control for any fraudulent case.
In his closing notes, the EC, KW-IRS appreciated all the Royal Fathers, Council and Legislative members present. He commended them for their suggestions and questions. He answered the question of the Elesa by stating that the property tax for the rural area is different from that of urban area. He stated that KW-IRS would run with the suggestion of the HRH. Oba Agboola (SA) to document the various categories of payment.