Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler has said that revenue collection should be private sector driven to enhance its optimal success.

Fowler who said this in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara State on Tuesday at the ongoing 137th edition of Joint Tax Board meeting said that both states and the federal government had a lot of limitations to successfully engage in revenue drive and collection.

The Joint Tax Board is made up of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), States Internal Revenue Board, Federal Road Safety Commission (FIRS), Immigration and Customs.

According to Fowler, government could not afford to hire the best of hands for revenue collection and pay staff good salaries and allowances.

He said if private firms were engaged, they would have targets to meet in their revenue collections, and if they failed to meet them, they could be sacked.

The chairman therefore called on state governors to grant full autonomy to revenue boards in their states to enhance their operations.

He commended the Kwara governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed for granting total autonomy to the Kwara Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) and called on other states to follow suit.

Fowler said that if states’ revenue bodies were autonomous, it would enhance their performances and free them from unnecessary interference.

According to him, any country or state that wants to change its revenue profile should be private sector driven.

“Any state that wants to develop required revenue and the most sustainable source of revenue is from tax.

“So, my request is that those state governments that have not granted autonomy to their revenue bodies should do so to enable them perform optimally,’’ Fowler added.

Fowler said that the National Joint Tax Board would adopt the blueprint of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service.

He said that the decision to adopt KWIRS blueprint of changing the people, process and technology for tax collection and management was premised on the success the state had recorded in increasing its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The FIRS boss expressed optimism that other states would record the same success if the Kwara blueprint was followed thoroughly.

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