Exclusive Interview of the Chairman, Joint Tax Board (JTB), Babatunde Fowler

How has been your experience in Kwara State so far?

Excellent! We have had great hospitality and discussion. But the most striking part has been the hospitality and the giant strides taken. The template of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) plus technology made it perfect.

You gave a speech that adopting the KW-IRS blueprint by other State Internal Revenue Services is essential, what exactly did you mean?

When trying to reform the sector, there are certain issues that KW-IRS gave considerations to in the People, Process, Technology (PPT) model such as the staff selection and stakeholders’ engagement. It is a record model. Also worthy of adopting is the autonomy that the State Government has given to the Internal Revenue Service and the road map. Only about 5 or so states operate as such and all of them have done well. You can see Kwara State with about an average of 300% increase in internal revenue generation.

What would you say is the relevance of taxation in this recessive economy?

Recession or not, taxation plays a very important role. It is the only way out of a recession. Revenue from tax can serve as a buffer when there’s a recession. With revenue, contractors can be engaged, many people get a source of income thereby increasing purchasing power and the whole economy will be affected.

What is the role of State Governments?

When it comes to setting up Internal Revue Services… Initially, when trying to do reform, it typically takes government 2 to 3 years. But the Kwara State Government in setting this place up and even the Service after it was set up took giant strides.

Generally, the major role of a State Government is to ensure they provide for those in need and to build a functional house where everyone is comfortable living. The Kwara State Government has done a good of building this house

What is your advice to KW-IRS?

My advice to KW-IRS is to sustain the performance and move forward. The past is the past and it is history. Do not rely on the success of the past.

Do not underestimate taxpayers. Continue to seek the support of various stakeholders including the State Government, Chief of Staff, Secretary to the State Government, Speaker of the House of Assembly, and the likes even when there’s a change in Government, which there will be. So continue to key in that support.

You are at the peak of your career, what would you say are the critical factors of success in this field?

  1. Seek support from anywhere necessary. No one is in competition with you. Seek for advice and analyse the information you receive so you can select to apply appropriately.
  2. Respect the taxpayer, be customer friendly, let them understand you are here to perform a role.

Take it to the younger generation, they’ll come and join the workforce in no time.

  1. Put everything in the hands of God.

Thank you very much, sir.

You’re welcome.


There are no comments yet

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top