The Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has urged state governors to grant autonomous status to their internal revenue services in order to improve their efficiency and revenue generation capacities.

Fowler was quoted by the FIRS’ Director of Communications and Servicom, Wahab Gbadamosi, as making the call while addressing the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, at the 137th meeting of the JTB in Ilorin, according to a statement signed and made available on Sunday

According to him, the importance of trained personnel to improved revenue generation in the states cannot be over-emphasised.

Fowler stated: “The good work that you are doing is evident in the performance of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service. It is good enough for others to follow. We commend the work that the KWIRS is doing and agreed among ourselves to adopt it as a model. Like I often tell my colleagues, we members of the JTB must not disappoint Nigerians.

“I would like you to call on other governors, your colleagues in other states, who have not taken the bold step to please do and give autonomy to state internal revenue services. Please, help us to convey this to them as an ambassador and tell other governors.”

He also advised the JTB members to intensify efforts toward boosting their revenue targets and also lauded the state governor for creating enabling environment for the Kwara Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) to increase the state’s internally generated revenue.

“I like to commend the efforts of the executive governor in transforming the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service. It is on record that the state’s annual IGR grew from N7.1bn in 2015 to N17.2bn in 2016. I, therefore, urge the service not to relent in its efforts and continue to work hard to justify the encouragement received from the state government,” Fowler added.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Governor Ahmed, told the seasoned tax administrators that the KWIRS’ ability to grow the state’s IGR from N7.1 billion in 2015 to N17.2 billion in 2016 was anchored on three key planks, namely people, processes and technology.

The JTB meeting had as its theme: ‘Collaboration amongst tax authorities: Its impact on revenue generation and service delivery to taxpayers’.