By Philip Yatai

The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) says it is working on the adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the analysis of taxpayer returns filing and fiscalisation of cash-based informal sector transactions in the state.

The Executive Chairman of the service, Dr Zaid Abubakar stated in his opening remarks at the first edition of KADIRS Tax Dialogue with the theme, “Voluntary Tax Compliance a Fundamental for Social Contract and Service Delivery”.

“This technology will empower us to actively monitor taxable activities in the informal economy, and therefore maximise our collections.

“Many studies have confirmed that the informal sector in Nigeria, is several times bigger, and harder to tax than the formal sector.

“The RPA is a step that will surely place us ahead of the curve, as far as revenue collections are concerned.

He added that revenue service would continuously deploy state-of-the-art Information Technology (IT) solutions that block leakages and misappropriation in revenue administration.

He said that the IT solution also significantly improved staff productivity, as well as enhanced taxpayer experience at every touchpoint that they interact with KADIRS.  

“One of such innovative IT solutions is the Central Billing System, and Big Data Single window which provides a 360-degree view of every single revenue stream in Kaduna State.

“This empowers taxpayers to file returns online without a single paper, or physical presence in our tax offices; and on the other hand, allows us to collect taxes due from those returns electronically.

“It is a revolutionary process that simultaneously improves compliance and simplifies collection,” he added.

Abubakar said that the revenue service would soon finalise the onboarding process of all the state’s revenue generating agencies on the platform.

This, according to him, will mean that every single kobo, due to Kaduna state, in assessment and collection will be tracked and accounted for more accurately.

“As part of revenue mobilisation efforts, we are gathered here today to discuss ways of collaboration, to improve voluntary tax compliance in the state.

“As we may all be aware, voluntary tax compliance is the pillar upon which all other revenue generation strategies thrive. Without it, every other strategy may fail, and governance may be interrupted.

“The challenge of tax avoidance greatly hampers revenue mobilization.

“It is, therefore, imperative that all stakeholders partner to build the requisite capacity, strategy, and rethink approach to revenue generation and collection”.

He added that the partnership would efficiently curb the menace of tax avoidance and resistance would not only improve IGR, but also governance and service delivery at all levels.

The KADIRS boss said that the state currently has an estimated population of about nine million out of which three million people were estimated to be an active and productive population.

He added that the 2022 States-of-States data, put Kaduna state Gross Domestic Product of $9.3 billion U.S dollars.

“The state is also acclaimed to have one of the highest residents of high-net-worth individuals, being the political capital of the North.

“With all these potentials, how much has the state been able to extract in revenues to win ourselves off the federal allocation? He asked.

Similarly, the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Muhammad Nami, described tax dialogued as a “multi-sided communication channels” that enables every view to taxation be aired and considered.

Nami said that the dialogue ensures inclusiveness in the design and implementation of the tax system, thereby engendering a spirit of collective ownership which promotes voluntary tax compliance.

He further said that tax dialogue provides an avenue for pooling expert ideas on tax policy formulation, reviews of tax laws and strengthening tax administration.

“Government is constitutionally bound to guarantee citizens the right to life, safety, peace, security and property and act in the best interest of the citizens.

“To discharge its duty, the government must provide public goods – infrastructure, social amenities in sufficient quantity, the citizens also have a duty to provide the needed resources to provide public goods,” he said.