Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has inaugurated the state Board of Internal Revenue with a call on the members to explore ways of increasing the revenue profile of the state to fast track development and boost the state’s economy.
The Revenue Board has Mr Okon Okon as Chairman, Mrs Ekemesit Ekpro Secretary, Elder Nse Atang, Hon. Ekere Afia and Mr Leo Umana, as members.
Also in the board are representatives of Ministry of Economic Development, Lands and Town Planning, Investment, Commerce and Industry, Justice and Ministry of Transport as well as two staff in the rank of a Director from the Board of Internal Revenue.
Speaking at the Executive Council Chamber, Government House, Uyo where the event took place, Governor Emmanuel told the board members that they have been selected on merit and advised them to deploy their wealth of experience in their assigned task, stressing that much is expected from them.
Governor Emmanuel charged the new board to beam it search light on Oil Companies operating in the state territorial waters without paying tax to the State government but remit same to states where they have their operational offices and stated that such exploitation is counter productive to the execution of development programmes of his administration.
He frowned at the outcry over the proposed introduction of property tax in the state and wondered why those who complain would pay such levies to other States but refuse to comply with the home government.
He called for adequate enlightenment on the issue explaining that funds generated from taxes help in the provision of social amenities and other welfare programmes.
The Governor advised the people to see tax payment as a civic responsibility and not wait to be coerced explaining that in developed countries citicens pay their tax religiously to support government provide social amenities and other welfare programmes.
In his interaction with Government House Correspondents, the Chairman of the Board, Mr Okon Okon expressed appreciation to the Governor for the appointment and pledged, on behalf of the members, to justify the confidence repose in them.
Dignitaries including the state Deputy Governor Mr Moses Ekpo, Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Hon Onofiok Luke, House of Representatives member for Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency Dr Francis Uduyok, State PDP Chairman Obong Paul Ekpo, Paramount Ruler of Eket Local Government Area His Royal Majesty Edidem E. C. D. Abia, Members of the State Executive Council, Political Stalwart, witnessed the inauguration.