Ikeja- The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it had brought some 400 000 new tax payers into its tax net in the last year.
Bola Shodipo, Special Adviser to Gov. Babatunde Fashola on Taxation and Revenue, said this in Ikeja, at a news conference to mark the governor`s sixth year in office.
He explained that the development had increased the number of tax payers from the previous 2.7 million to 3 .1million and had resulted in a six per cent revenue growth in the state.
Shodipo, however, said out that compliance level in the state was still far from being satisfactory as some five million taxable adults defaulted in tax payments.
``The new 400 000 people that have been captured, through increased advocacy, appeal to conscience and other strategies, are mainly people from the Organised Private Sector.
``We have got some people at the informal sector too, especially at the markets. This is a remarkable improvement but it is not where we want to be as there are still some five million who default.
``Though we have begun enforcement, we are urging voluntary compliance. When people comply, it saves cost.
``People should fulfill their part of the social contract by paying their taxes; this will enable the government to mobilise enough resources and deliver more development in the state,`` he said.
The special adviser said a number of organisations and individuals were being prosecuted by government for tax evasion and about 20 of such cases were at different courts.
He, however, said out of court settlements were being discussed with defaulters who were willing to pay.
Shodipo said the government had set up a revenue complaints centre for tax related issues where residents who were finding it difficult to obtain their tax cards could complain.
On the administration of Land Use Charge, the special adviser said it had improved significantly in the last one year in terms of effective service delivery, data credibility and revenue collection.
Shodipo said the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), which is under his supervision, had installed no fewer than 28 460 street directional signs across the state in the last one year.
According to him, the agency has delivered 15 of the envisaged 400 mega adverts carrying bus shelters across the state under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement.
He said that 86 532 houses had also been covered by the agency in the last one year, under its house numbering project.
Shodipo noted that the government had strengthened the monitoring of activities of lottery operators in the state to ensure they kept within the confines of the law.
He called on residents to assist the government in promoting the course of development by paying their taxes and shunning acts that constituted threats to progress.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aderemi Ibirogba, Commisioner for Information and Strategy and Tunde Fowler, Chairman, Internal Revenue Service were also present at the conference.