Firms, individuals owe Lagos Government N18 billion in taxes

State IGR grew from N18 billion in 1999 to N237 billion in 2013.

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The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS said on Friday that firms and individuals owed the state government about N18 billion in unremitted tax revenues since 2013.

This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of the service, Tunde Fowler, who spoke about the issue at the launch of a KPMG Chief Financial Officer, CFO Survey on Next Frontiers in Tax Administration in Lagos.

Mr. Fowler said out of the figure, firms operating in the aviation sector accounted for about 50 per cent, while 30 per cent were owed by those in the banking sector and the balance by individuals.

He said that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, increased from N18 billion in 1999 to about N237 billion in 2013 due to the adoption of new revenue generating strategies.

“In 1999, Lagos State government generated about N18 billion as its IGR. But in 2013, the IGR increased to about N237 billion. This is an increase of about 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 to discuss new strategies on tax drive and enforcement.

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 healthcare 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 responsibilities money is required and it is not the oil revenue,” he pointed out.

Mr. Fowler said that aspiration of the state government was to generate more money through tax to utilise it in the provision of those infrastructures to turn the state into a tourism destination like Dubai, which, according to him, rose from a dirty city and became a tourist attraction within 20 years.

(NAN)

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