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On behalf of the Board and Management of Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service(AKIRS), I welcome you to this New Year media parley. We feel highly honoured by your response to our invitation. I assure you that the Board will continue to uphold this tradition of maintaining an excellent relationship with the media community in Akwa Ibom State.

I thank God Almighty and His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel for giving me the opportunity to serve our dear state as the pioneer Executive Chairman of this crucial Board.

I also commend the Akwa Ibom State House Of Assembly for passing into law the Bill which granted Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service autonomy in 2016 and for the ongoing efforts at making laws that are relevant and essential for the growth of Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) in the state.

As you know, the inauguration of the board on April 13, 2017 by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel was a critical point of inflection in his determination to transform the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile of the state.

Gentlemen of the Press, during the Board’s 2018 Business Strategy Session which held on 14th & 15th December 2017, the Board and Management resolved to buy fully into His Excellency’s vision and agreed on the need to undergo a transformation in order to realize the goals of the autonomy status of AKIRS and deliver on the IGR expectations of the Government and people of Akwa Ibom State.

Accordingly, the service has launched a transformation program christened Revenue and Institutional Transformation Agenda (REVITA) with effect from January 1,2018.

The key elements of the agenda are:
1. Paradigm shift in business approach from bureaucracy to enterprise model.
2. Tax education and awareness creation.
3. Automation of revenue collection and tax administration system.
4. Widening of tax net.
5. Rapid growth of taxpayers data- base.
6. Harmonization of taxes and collection.
7. Blocking of leakages in the tax system.
8. Enforcement, audit, investigation and prosecution of defaulters.
9. Excellent Customer service and taxpayer’s confidence.
10. Significant growth in IGR with a projection of N38billion for 2018.
11. Value for taxpayers’ money.
12. Review of processes and procedures to improve efficiency.

Meanwhile, from the time the board took charge midstream last year, we hit the ground running and recorded the following key results:
1. Positive shift in organisational culture with new Corporate philosophy in terms of Vision Statement, Mission Statement, Core Values and Corporate Logo.
2. Tax Education and awareness campaign.
3. Automation of Road Taxes and customization of licences/supporting receipt
4. Introduction of e-payment channels and stoppage of payment by cash.
5. Capacity building (training and human resource development).
6. Special tax audit and investigations.
7. Significant growth in IGR and an exciting trajectory for 2018.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Gentlemen of the Press, I am confident that with committed and passionate implementation of REVITA, Akwa Ibom State IGR is about to experience a quantum, consistent and sustainable leap.

I thank and encourage our teeming taxpayers who choose voluntary compliance while on the other hand I urge defaulters to change their attitude and honour their Civic obligations by paying their taxes accurately and promptly otherwise they will be prosecuted in line with the applicable tax laws as we plan to intensify enforcement and recovery drive this year.

I count on the support of our esteemed media as partners in progress in this laudable and very challenging task of building a stable and growing IGR to meet Akwa Ibom State fiscal need as well as a contemporary Internal Revenue Institution that we all will be proud of.

God bless Akwa Ibom State!

Okon Okon
Executive Chairman
Akwa Ibom State Board of Internal Revenue