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Our problem with tax evasion, by Lagos govt

By AKOMA CHINWEOKE
Lagos State government has blamed professional  bodies in Nigeria for tax evasion by private organisations and the general public.

Special adviser to Governor Babatunde  Fashola on  taxation and revenue, Mr. Ade Ipaye, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Ikeja  District.

According to Ipaye “if professional bodies in the state enlighten private organisations and general public more on the importance of paying tax in the state, the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state would have increased  from N14 billion.”

He added that many Lagos residents were ignorant of the importance of paying  tax, arguing that potential tax payers depend on the information from professional bodies before paying  tax .

Ipaye, who noted that tax bodies in many  countries serve  as an intermediary between  government and the general public on tax  matters, lamented that only civil servants in Lagos State have continued  to pay tax  since the administration of Col. Buba Marwa while private organisations in the state have refused to do same.

He accused the management of some organisations of not remitting full  tax  paid by their workers.
“The essence of tax is for a better society, as this tax will not go to any body’s pocket but straight into the coffers of the state government”, Ipaye said.

Responding to the allegation, the chairman of CITN, Ikeja District, Mr. Chukwuemeka  Eze, said CITN has begun to use the  media  to give enlightenment to the public on the need to pay tax  to the state government.

He also delivered an invitation to the state governor  through his SA ahead of its investiture ceremony with the  theme: Taxation as a tool for Democratic Sustainability”, which holds in Lagos on April 22.

On the reason forthe theme, he stated that CITN believes  that for any democratic country to succeed, its citizens   must pay tax to  government which will in turn be used  for  development  through  provision of  social amenities .”

Taxation is one of the socio-economic issues that shapes the level of development in  any economy . So, people need to understand the connection between democracy and taxation”,  he said.


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