The Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Finance, Akan Okon, said consumption of alcohol in hotels and beer parlours in the state would now attract tax.
Mr. Okon told journalists in Uyo on Saturday that people who consumed alcoholic drinks would begin to pay a token as tax.
“Some people who lodge in hotels and consume alcohol will henceforth pay taxes to the state government.
“The focus is to look inward to see how the various opportunities that are available in the state can be harnessed to raise the Internally Generated Revenue(IGR),’’ he said.
The commissioner, however, decried the attitude of some businessmen in the informal sector of the economy who failed to pay tax to government.
Mr. Okon said that if those in the informal sector paid their taxes, the state would pull the resources together and that would help in providing social amenities in the state.
He said that property tax and entertainment tax were not collected in the state in order for tax uniformity in the state.
He explained that the state government had put measures in place to ensure that revenue opportunities were tapped to raise its IGR.
The commissioner said that a new tax consultant had been appointed to block leakages associated with revenue collection.
“We have in place a new consultant that is working closely to ensure that we block all the leakages associated with revenue collection system in the state,” he said.
The commissioner explained that e-receipt system had been introduced to check revenue leakages in the state.
“We are introducing electronic e-receipt instead of the manual receipt, this is one of the avenues we believe will help sort out some leakages that are associated with a manual receipt,” he said.
Mr. Okon said the state government would soon convene a tax summit to rub minds with its stakeholders.
He said the summit was aimed to encourage the people to pay their taxes according to their incomes.
“As a state, we intend to ensure that we widen the tax net and also engage the informal sector to ensure that we derive the maximum opportunity that is available in this area.
“With the summit coming up, the issue of poor tax payment will be a thing of the past,” Mr. Okon said.
He noted that the state government would anchor its development on taxes paid by the citizens of the state.
The commissioner said Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration was doing everything possible for tax system to be efficient and effective in the state.