Lagos – The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) said on Friday that firms and individuals owed the state government N18 billion in unremitted taxes in 2013.
Executive Chairman of the service, Mr Tunde Fowler, made this known at the launch of a KPMG Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Survey on “Next Frontiers in Tax Administration” in Lagos.
Fowler said that out of the amount, aviation sector owed 50 per cent, 30 per cent by the banking sector and the balance percentage by individuals.
He disclosed that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increased from N18 billion in 1999 to N237 billion in 2013.
“In 1999, Lagos State generated N18 billion as its IGR but in 2013, the IGR increased to N237 billion; this is an increase of N219 billion within 14 years.
“There had been steady growth in tax payment in the state,” he said.
He explained that the state government achieved the increase in revenue generation from tax through regular conferences and seminars on tax.
According to the chairman, the state government has 250,000 organised private firms and 4.5 million taxable individuals.
He also said that the budget of the state increased from N17 billion in 1999 to N459 billion in 2013, adding that the 2013 budget was directly tied to the IGR.
“The increase in the budget was to ensure that the citizens have good roads, good health care services and adequate security.
“The state has witnessed phenomenal infrastructural and social development in the past years, most of which were and are still being financed with funds from taxes.
“For Lagos to take care of these, money is required and it is not the oil revenue,” he explained.
Fowler said that the state needed money to become a tourist attraction like Dubai, which, according to him, rose from a dirty city and became a tourist attraction within 20 years. (NAN)