Abia launches digital tax system

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On Monday, the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, launched a new digital tax system to help the state eliminate fraud and intermediaries in revenue generation.

The new system, which integrates a free medical insurance scheme for all commercial vehicle drivers and riders of Keke and Okada, will see the state also maximise its revenue potential, according to its Chief Executive Officer.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Otti, who was flanked by some senior members of his cabinet, including the Chief of Staff, Dr Caleb Ajagba; the Special Adviser on Internally-Generated Revenue, Mr Chimereze Isaac Okigbo; and Special Adviser on Policies and Interventions Rev Father Christian Anokwuru, said that the introduction of the new digital system would not only strengthen the state’sstate’s tax collection but would also promote economic growth and entrepreneurship in the state.

“By simplifying tax compliance procedures, we have removed barriers for businesses, encouraged formalisation, and stimulated investment. This initiative empowers entrepreneurs, enabling them to focus on their ventures’ growth and expansion, ultimately leading to job creation and economic prosperity for our state.

“By eliminating fraud and intermediaries and introducing the digital platform to block leakages, we will unlock the true potential of our tax system to maximise revenue for development projects.

“The digitalised tax regime ensures that every business, large or small, contributes its fair share towards the growth of our state. With the expected increased revenue, the government can invest in infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and other essential sectors that will uplift the lives of all Ndi Abia,” Governor Otti affirmed.

He declared that the free medical insurance scheme component of the new digital tax payment system fulfils his campaign promise to create an affordable health care delivery ” for our people across all sectors and segments” of society.

The new digital tax system aims to sanitise revenue generation in the transport and markets sectors. While the Permit to Operate Tickets targets those in the transport business, the Innovative Traders Tax Payment aptly targets traders in the market areas.

“Unlike in the past, where revenue agents abused these daily tickets with all manner of collectables, now, we are promoting Transparency and Ease of Compliance in our commitment to making tax compliance more straightforward and accessible. The digitalised tax regime introduces enumeration and easy-paying platforms, including USSD and wallet services.

“The Permit to operate Tickets for Transporters has been designed in bouquets, giving the commercial transport operators options to choose among the daily, weekly and monthly schemes. This has eliminated all forms of middle men that have been meddling on our revenue collection space. We are also optimistic that this middleman eventually eliminates and induce the risk of extortion, promotes transparency, increases tax compliance, sstrengthensease of doing business in Abia state and eempowersthese businesses to operate within a legally defined framework and environment,” the Governor said.

Similarly, the Abia Governor said the new framework for Innovative Traders Tax Payment ” is the first of its kind in our state”. According to him, it was carefully designed for convenience and fairness.

“This model gives the traders in all our major markets the benefit of prorating their annual Market levy in a Monthly, Quarterly, Bi-Annually or Annually. A thorough consideration was made to accommodate this model so as to cushion the effect of economic hardship and business cycle volatility. This was our promise Abia during our campaign and we are keeping to that,” he explained.