Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has said that 70 percent of the state’s 2014 budget of N489.6 billion would be funded with taxes.
The governor made the plan known at the 7th Lagos State Annual Stakeholders Conference on Taxation in Ikeja.
He said that the remaining 30 percent would be financed through other sources, including the monthly federal allocation.
Fashola said taxation had been a veritable source of revenue to the state and that it had greatly helped to promote the state’s development.
“We have achieved a lot with taxation and it is better to state some facts here so that what the government and people of the state have achieved together can be better appreciated.
“In 1999, the budget of this state for the whole year was about N14 billion and at that time our internally generated revenue was just about N600 million.
“Last year, this state was able to budget half a trillion naira, specifically N507 billion and this year, we have a budget size of N489.6 billion.
“And about 70 per cent of that would be funded by the taxpaying people of this great state,” he said.
Fashola said the increasing mobilisation of tax resources ensured that the state relied less on federal allocations to meet her needs.
He thanked residents for making sustainable development possible in the state through payment of taxes.
The governor appealed to those evading taxes to shun the practice and urged them to join the train of development through tax payments.
Fashola dismissed the belief that the state imposed multiple taxes on residents, saying the state ran a fair tax system.
“What we have here is what we have in other parts of the world, the state government taxes and there are taxes collected by local councils,” he said.
Nike Akande, a former Minister of Commerce and Industry, urged Nigerians, especially women, to develop the culture of tax payment.
She said women were great players in various sectors of the economy and it behoved them to fulfil their tax obligations to the country.
“Many women of today are engaged in various economic activities and earn income and where income is earned, tax must be paid,” she said.
The Chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler, said that the state government would not hesitate to prosecute tax defaulters.
Fowler urged residents to voluntarily pay their taxes to enable government to meet its obligations.