Ortom tasks BIRS on tax-friendly policies

Ortom tasks BIRS on tax-friendly policies

By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has advised the State Board of Internal Revenue Services, BIRS, to develop a tax policy that will be fair to the people and support growth of businesses in the state.

Ortom, who gave the charge at the  inauguration of the board in Makurdi, last week, noted that taxation has become a veritable instrument in business and investment strategy "and the manner in which it is applied can encourage or discourage investment and business and on the long--run determine how competitive we become as a state."

He told board members to be creative in developing tax policies that are robust, simple, clearly defined, fair to the people and structured to support businesses and promote investment.

According to Ortom, the constant fall in oil price which results in drop in federal allocation has placed a limit on the capacity of state governments across the country to perform even statutory functions as basic as payment of monthly salaries.

"It is no longer fashionable as a state to continue to depend on monthly allocation from the Federation Account as the main source of income.

"The time has come for the state to move its economy away from the volatility of the income from the Federation Account to a more sustainable income streams while working on a long term solution of an economy anchored on agriculture where the state has comparative advantage," he said.

He expressed confidence in the ability of the board to deliver on their monthly target of N1.5billion and reiterated his administration’s zero tolerance for corruption.

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