Lagos State IGR hits N31bn in Q1 2008

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Lagos State’s internally generated revenue has hit N31.48bn for the first quarter spanning January to March 2008. This also showed a monthly average revenue of N10.49bn to the state treasury for the period.

 

This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Tunde Fowler, at the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service Conference for Professional Associations held in Lagos on Thursday.

 

Giving a background to the state’s IGR from a period of 2003 to the first quarter of 2008, the chairman said the sum of N34.53bn was sourced as IGR in 2004, with a monthly average of N2.87bn and representing an increase of 114.75 per cent from the N30.11 figure recorded in 2003.

 

The sum of N48.14bn with a monthly revenue of N4bn was raked in in 2005 representing monthly for the state. This also represented an increase of 139.41 per cent from the 2004 figure.

 

He said a total of N66.88bn was generated by the state in 2006. This was translated into a monthly average income of N5.57bn, and representing 138.90 per cent increase from the previous year.

 

The state maintained a phenomenal increase when in 2007, its yearly IGR rose to N94.85bn, showing a monthly average income of N7.90bn, and representing a percentage increase of 141.84 from the 2006 figure.

 

Speaking at the conference, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, lauded the steady increase while calling for more concerted efforts in compliance to the tax policy of the government.

 

He said that the enviable heights achieved by developed countries were due primarily to the financial contributions of their residents by way of tax payment. The governor called for volumtary tax compliance.

 

He said, “Without a steady source of funding for maintenance, even the existing infrastructures will decay and collapse. I call on the good citizens of Lagos for a voluntary compliance with tax payment as we depend on it a great deal to realise our mandate. Everyone of us must see the payment of tax not as a legal or social obligation, but also as a contribution to our personal wefare. There is a correlation between the efficiency of our tax regime and the standard of living government is able to entrench.

 

 

The governor further stated that by various international assessments, Lagos had already attained the status of a mega city. He said with an estimated population of over 18 million, Lagos was qualified for the extraordinary maintenance, renewal and social re-engineering efforts, which cities in the category deserved.

 

He said that to survive as a mega city, it was imperative that the state must cope with the mega tonnes of refuse generated daily; the alarming concentration of motor vehicles as well as the rapid growing demand for basic infrastructure. He said the state depended largely on taxation as its primary source of funds.

 

“There is no alternative to taxation, we cannot do business as a means of survival. Lagos has far out-grown what it gets from petroleum resources and other federal allocations.

 

In fact, the allocations hardly cover our civil service personnel costs. Even if we resort to borrowing, the banks will soon stop extending facilities to us unless we show a virile and productive revenue system through which we can service the repayment, “ Fashola added.

 

He said transacting business at all levels with government, henceforth, would be contigent on the presentation of evidence of tax payment for the past three years.

 

While calling on emplyers to put in place systems that would make tax remittances of their emplyees work more efficiently, the Governor urged professionals to pay their taxes pronptly.

 

He said the state was working with local government officials and the State Assembly to harmonise the local levies, remove ambiguities and regulate the collection process so as to ease payments for them.

 

Fowler stated that with the IGR increasing by 315 per cent from N30bn in 2003 to N94bn in 2007, the state had greater potential to generate more as it was gradually becoming the toast of business concerns in the country. - Punch

 

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