Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has decried the reluctance of some federal institutions in the state in discharging their financial obligations to the state.

Ugwuanyi, who spoke at the meeting of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) in Enugu on Monday, said that no fewer than eight federal institutions owed over N18 billion to the state in unpaid taxes.

He said the defaulters included paramilitary, health, education and research institutions, adding that the impact of taxes in socio-economic development could not be over-emphasised.

Ugwuanyi, however, said that such indebtedness had not stopped the state in rendering essential services to the affected institutions.

He appealed to the institutions to ensure that the debts were paid to the coffers of the government, to further enhance service in the state.

Earlier, the JTB Chairman, Mr Tunde Fowler, said that the board had introduced a consolidated tax database which would promote efficiency in the sector.

Fowler said that the board could not afford to pay lip service to tax remittances as it formed a substantial source of the country’s revenue.

He said that payment of taxes would ensure sustainable development in the country, adding that without such, it would be difficult to fund the country’s budget.

Fowler said that the JTB had the mandate of promoting and ensuring uniformity, harmony and efficiency in personal income tax administration and advise on general tax matters in Nigeria.

The Chairman, Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Emeka Odo, said that the tax regime in the state had taken a new dimension with reforms initiated by the government.

Odo said that the various reforms of the state government had yielded improved revenue.

He, however, said that the board was further desirous of improving on its internally generated revenue.

The theme of the event was ‘Leveraging on ICT for Efficient Tax Administration and Revenue Enhancement, Focusing on States Internal Revenue Services’.

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