In continuation of its efforts to drive change and stimulate the transformation of tax processes and procedures in Kwara State, the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) on Saturday, 6 August 2016 commenced collection of cattle tax popularly known as “jangali”. The Deputy Director, Informal Sector, Mr. Lekan Rotimi, led the staff of the Informal Directorate to the Noble Ranch, located at Ogidi, Oloje, Ilorin South Local Government Area (LGA) of Kwara State.
In his welcome address, Mr ’Lekan Rotimi explained that things are no longer what they used to be in the past, hence, the need to embrace technology so as to achieve the expected result at optimal level. He stressed the significance of the Kwara Resident Identification Number (KRIN) which is aimed at aiding the Government in its planning policies and urged all residents of Kwara State to support the scheme for them not to be excluded from essential public services and benefits.
The Deputy Director, Informal Sector, the directorate responsible for the dealings with the people at the unstructured level as such, the collection of cattle tax, Mr ‘Lekan Rotimi stated that three parties are involved in the process of cattle tax collection; KW-IRS as the tax collector, cattle owner as the taxpayer and technical partner who will facilitate the process through technological input. He charged that the three parties have to work interchangeably for success to be attained on their given assignment.
Explaining to the cattle stakeholders present at the flag off of cattle tax collection at the Noble Ranch, Ogidi, the Unit Head, Cattle tax, Mr. Bello Mohammed who is also in charge of the technological aspect of cattle tax collection under the Informal Directorate, gave an insight on the two phases involved for the collection of cattle tax. The phases which he stated as the offline and online phases. To demonstrate this, information about the Chairman, Noble Ranch, Alhaji Oba Ajara, was registered on the database and subsequently tied to the cattle owner’s card issued to him. In the offline phase, cows are tagged using the Geographical Code popularly called the QR code which can be scanned with a QR enabled device. This process is an electronic process and what the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) calls eTagging. It is important to note at this juncture that every eTagged cow have been linked to its owner’s card. This makes it easy for monitoring and enforcement team to do their job. Alhaji Ajara flagged off the cattle tax collection by paying for the cattle in his ranch.
In his remarks, Alhaji Ajara expressed that the process is extremely important; giving that technology has become a key factor. Therefore, the Service has chosen to tread on the best path by adopting the method of electronic tagging, for he could recall that cattle were used to being tethered in the past but such cannot be adopted anymore. He further highlighted the need for the government to enforce the use of slaughter houses which would foil theft of cattle. Alhaji. Ajara further pledged to manifest absolute sincerity when it comes to declaring the number of his cattle. He stated that short changing the government is not to either party’s advantage.
According to the Deputy Director, Informal Sector, in an interview he granted the Kwareve News team, he explained that a substantial amount is expected from the jangali project having realised from the survey recently carried out. Some individuals have as many as 200 or more cattle and considering the law provides the rate per cow to be N300, it is indeed an advantage on the revenue side. However, “what is expected of the government through the Service is basically what will be given back to herdsmen, because if they could take a moral obligation to fulfil their civic obligation, it is also necessary for the government to show responsiveness to some of their needs”.
Mr. ’Lekan Rotimi further stated that the technology in place has been seen as an indigenous one that covers the peculiarity of the State, so practicable measures will be taken to sustain it. He added that as soon as they are successfully done with the collection in the Kwara Central the process will be replicated in other senatorial districts, most especially Kwara North where a large number of cattle is found.