Bayelsa introduces new tax policy to tackle dwindling allocation

THE Bayelsa State Government has unveiled a new tax policy to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)and increase government spending on infrastructural development as well as wealth generation in the state.

The governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, has asked people in the state to prepare for a hard time following the continued dwindling in federal allocation to the state.

The state’s Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah, while unveiling the new tax policy in Yenagoa during the Monthly Transparency Briefing on State Government spending for the month of December,2015,said the new system would eliminate the handling of cash and increase remittance to state account by tax agents.

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Rear Admiral John Jonah, who announced a deficit spending of N1.226billion by the State Government in December with a Gross Inflow of N6.487billion, N2.244billion in deductions from Federal Allocations due to loans and financial commitments, gross over flow of N3.868billion and N1.551billion for salary augmentation, said the difficult financial situation faced by the state has led to a review of necessary financial policies.

The Bayelsa State Deputy however assured that the new tax policy will not shift the burden of tax payment to the people, “what we have done is to eliminate the handling of cash by Tax agents. We have changed the method of tax collection. We are trying to improve ways of generating our revenue. We have decided that, based on agreement, the collection agents should take what is legally theirs and return to government its revenue.”

Rear Admiral John Jonah said the effort by states to salvage their difficult financial status is not strange as many of the States in the Federation are operating on zero allocation status.