Says internal revenue boss
THE Executive Chairman, Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has said that there has been a great improvement in the tax revenue base of the state, stressing that the people, because of the improvement in infrastructural development visible in the state, are really performing their civic duties of tax payment.
Fowler, however declined giving the specific amount, but stressed that with the state budget moving from about N200 billion to over N400 billion for the year, it shows that there is an increment in revenue generation, adding that the cooperation of the general public in the state has been very encouraging, \"everybody now has an intention to pay taxes,\" he stated.
The LIRS boss disclosed this recently in Lagos when he led other members of the board to Ikorodu on an enlightenment campaign on the importance of Electronic Tax Clearance (E-Tax) Certificate.
In his address to the Council of Obas and Chiefs in Ikorodu, Fowler said the people needed to be educated on the importance of tax payment to ensure further infrastructural development in the Lagos of our dream, particularly in view of the persistent fall in oil prices with the attendant reduction in revenue accruing from the Federation Account.
Citing the example of the past experience of the withheld fund belonging to Lagos State for 21 months under the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, \"the state never lacked, because we relied on internally generated revenue, which really helped the state then.\"
He implored the people to change their mindset on tax avoidance, adding that tax evasion is a serious offence in law and that such have penalties for whoever fails to abide by the laid down regulations.
Fowler however, debunked the complaints from certain quarters over the issue of multiple taxation in the state. According to him, there are three levels of government, the federal, state and the local government, and each tier has its own tax payment, which differs from the others, \"therefore that you pay tax to the state government does not mean you are not going to pay to your local government. The collection could be levies, fines, fees etc, while other forms of taxes are collected by other arms of government.\"
He therefore enjoined the traditional council under the chairmanship of the Ayangburen of Ikorodu land, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi to enlighten their people on the imperative of complying with the payment of their taxes as and when due in order to sustain the on-going development initiative of the present administration in the state.
In his own contribution, the Ranodu of Imota, Oba Ajibade Agoro, also commended the efforts of the present governor of Lagos State and assured management of Lagos State Internal Revenue of the support of the people of Ikorodu division in its tax compliance drive.
He opined that in order for us to witness more of this strategic growth, \"we must ensure that we pay our taxes as at when due.\"-ngrguardiannews