…Cautions Against Witch- Hunt, Sabotage Of Tax Payers
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has inaugurated the Gombe State Revenue Recovery Tribunal to curb evasion, guarantee fairness and transparency of the tax system.
Previously, both the revenue authorities and tax payers patronised the tribunal in far away Bauchi to settle disputes on tax matters.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Governor Inuwa Yahaya said described the setting up of the tribunal as another milestone in the resolve of his administration to change the old narrative, saying “it was his firm belief that revenue generation must be taken seriously if the people must continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
He expressed optimism that the tribunal will serve as a catalyst and a leading vehicle for the rejuvenation of revenue generation towards the socio-economic development of the State.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya explained that he was convinced that the Tribunal is a necessary body charged with the mandate to expeditiously adjudicate on revenue matters such as levies, taxes, charges, penalties and fines due to the State and Local Governments.
The Governor hoped that the establishment of the tribunal will curb the rate of tax evasion, guarantee fairness and transparency of the tax system, enhance tax payers’ confidence and provide speedy determination of matters and curtail delays and bottlenecks in adjudication of tax matters in conventional courts.
This, Governor Inuwa observed, will facilitate the ease of doing business and cement the State reputation as the commercial nerve centre of the north east sub-region.
“At this juncture, I will like to assure members of the tribunal of the commitment of Government to provide them with all the necessary support in order to succeed in their assignment, especially with regards to office facilities, equipment, capacity building and other required resources”.
The Governor noted with dismay the attitude of some revenue collectors wherein revenues are being lost due to their nonchalant attitude and corruption tendencies.
He called on the citizens of the State to adhere to the decisions of the tribunal and to keep up with the noble civic responsibility to enable government provide basic amenities, invest in education and health care for an expansion on the existing infrastructure, jobs creation for the teeming youths, unlock opportunities for businesses, provide security and ensure effective service delivery in all aspects of human endeavours.
He called on stakeholders to give the tribunal the maximum support and cooperation in the course of carrying out its assignment.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Barrister Mohammed Tukur Jungudo assured the Governor and the entire citizens of the State that the tribunal shall discharge its assignments without fear or favour on any issue arising from tax matters.
“Any aggrieved person can now simply come and initiate a process before the Tribunal here in Gombe State without taking the risk of going to Bauchi as it was before. A person who is aggrieved by an assessment or demand notice made upon him by the service or aggrieved by any action or decision or the service under the provisions may come to the Tribunal to file an action against such action, decision, assessment, or demand notice within 30 days of such action, decision, assessment, or demand notice.
“On the other hand, the Service, if aggrieved in relation to any person in respect of any provisions of the Tax Laws, can also file an action before the Tribunal in order to recover any revenue that is due to the State or Local Government.”.
The Executive Chairman of the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue Service, Abubakar Inuwa Tata said the establishment of the tribunal is another bold step by the Inuwa Yahaya- led administration to bolster the revenue base of the State in view of the fact that statutory allocation from the centre is seemingly reducing by the day.
There were goodwill messages from the Chief judge of Gombe State, Justice Joseph Ahmed Awak, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Zubair Muhammad Umar and the Gombe State branch chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Barr. Ahmed Tukur.
Ismaila Uba Misilli
( Press Affairs)
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