Tax defaulters in Edo risk jail term

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BENIN—GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has warned that the state government will no longer treat tax defaulters with kid gloves, saying tax offenders in the state risk jail term.

The governor said while the poor and low-income people were willing to pay their tax, those who could easily afford to pay preferred to flout the tax law.

Governor Oshiomhole gave the warning, yesterday, while speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the plenary session of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, at the St. Mathews (Anglican) Cathedral, Benin City.

He said: “In Edo State, we have tried to emphasise that we must re-invent the concept of tax. We must properly manage the taxpayers’ money. Today the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, is on strike over the issue of tax.

“The tax issue is a Federal law not made by me. Those people who believe that working in sensitive places is an excuse to evade tax need to rethink.

“It is very fashionable in Nigeria for people to spend N50 million on weddings, N100 million on birthdays and even much more to celebrate the dead. But for such persons to pay even five percent as tax, he is not ready to pay.

“In such a situation, it is better to send them to prison. Just to remind them that the prison is not meant for only the poor; the prison is meant for those who break the criminal law.”

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