The Acting Chairman of the Cross River State International Revenue Service, Mr Akpanke Ogar, has decried the poor response of the state to the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).
The scheme, a Federal Government initiative launched in July, 2017, driven by the Federal Ministry of Finance and supported by the Joint Tax Board, provides the opportunity under a new tax amnesty programme to enable tax defaulters clear their outstanding tax liabilities for the previous six year accounting period.
Speaking at a VAIDS sensitization forum in Calabar, Ogar said scheme has observed low participation in the state compared to results by other states in the country, hence the need for the sensitization forum.
The IRS boss, who said nearly N30 billion has so far been recovered from the scheme for the Federal Government, said pointed out the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has collected about 90 per cent of this amount, some states have been responsible for collecting the remaining 10 per cent, with Cross River contributing far less than 0.01 per cent.
He said the Federal Government upon commencement of the initiative, had deployed 162 community tax liaison officers and four supervisors to the state to assist willing tax payers and members of the general public, process their documentation with the next three weeks.
He said the tax amnesty initiative was initially for a nine-month period to end in March 2018, but was extended for another three months, hence would be ending June 30.
Governor Ben Ayade, who was represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Asuquo Ekpeneyong, who lauded the state IRS for the initiative, said Nigeria loses a lot of tax money.