The Akwa Ibom State Government has announced that alcohol consumption in hotels and beer parlours in the state would now attract tax.
This was made known to journalists in Uyo on Saturday by the State’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akan Okon. He said that people who consumed alcoholic drinks would begin to pay a token as tax.
“Some people who lodge in hotels and consume alcohol will henceforth pay taxes to the state government.
“The focus is to look inward to see how the various opportunities that are available in the state can be harnessed to raise the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” he said.
The commissioner, however, decried the attitude of some businessmen in the informal sector of the economy who failed to pay tax to government.
Okon said that if people who were in the informal sector paid their taxes, the state would pull the resources together and that would help in providing social amenities in the state.
He said that property tax and entertainment tax were not collected in the state in order for tax uniformity in the state.
Okon noted that the state government had put measures in place to ensure that revenue opportunities were tapped to raise its IGR.
The commissioner said that a new tax consultant had been hired by the state government to plug revenue collection leakages.
“We have in place a new consultant that is working closely to ensure that we block all the leakages associated with revenue collection system in the state,” he said.
The commissioner said that the state government had introduced e-receipt system to help plug revenue leakages.
“We are introducing electronic e-receipt instead of the manual receipt, this is one of the revenues we believe will help sort out some leakages that are associated with a manual receipt,” he said.
Okon said that the state would soon convene a tax summit to come up with ideas on how to realize the state’s objectives.
He said the summit was aimed to encourage the people to pay their taxes according to their incomes.
“As a state, we intend to ensure that we widen the tax net and also engage the informal sector to ensure that we derive the maximum opportunity that is available in this area.
“With the summit coming up, the issue of poor tax payment will be a thing of the past,” Okon said.
He noted that the state government would anchor its development on taxes paid by its citizens.
The commissioner said that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration was doing everything possible for the tax system to be efficient and effective in the state.