The Acting Chairman, Benue Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Mr Terzungwe Atser is seeking partnership with traditional institutions in the state to enforce tax laws.
Atser made this known when he led other management staff of BIRS on a courtesy visit to the Tor Tiv of Gboko, Prof James Ayatse in Gboko.
According to him, traditional institutions are pivotal to tax administration in the country and sued for royal support in implementing tax laws in the state.
He also appealed to the Tor Tiv to support him by providing a conducive environment within his domain to enable tax officers discharge their duties without harassment.
Atser regretted that he took over the reins of BIRS when there were already high levies that had crippled many businesses in the state.
He also regretted that many farmers were also affected by the high taxes.
The BIRS, however, assured that complaints of multiple taxations were being tackled while illegal revenue check points were being dismantled.
Atser said the high tariffs had been reviewed while levies on produce were slashed by 50 per cent.
He appealed to the Tor Tiv to prevail on traditional rulers within his domain to comply with vehicle registration requirements to avoid confrontation with tax officers.
Responding, Ayatse commended the acting chairman for his visit and understanding.
The Tor Tiv admitted that traditional institutions were central in tax administration and pledged to support BIRS management to succeed in its task of raising revenue for the state.
The paramount ruler said it was important for them to utilise all revenue sources to enhance the revenue generating capacity of the state, especially “now that resources from the federation account are dwindling.’’
The traditional ruler charged Atser to bring his professional skills to bear on the job, adding that much was expected of him.
He said it was heartwarming to know that the high tariffs were being reviewed and levies had been slashed to revive businesses that have been shut down.
The Tor Tiv lamented the impunity displayed by some unscrupulous elements who mount illegal revenue checks on the roads and urged the board to partner the security agencies in dismantling them.
He appealed to them to work on a sustainable revenue formula that was friendly to the people and businesses.
Commenting on the registration of vehicles owned by traditional rulers in his domain, the Tor Tiv advised the chairman to formally write and give the chiefs time to comply with the law or face sanctions.