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Lagos uncovers 5.5m tax evaders

23 May 2013, 16:50

Lagos- Tokunbo Abiru, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, on Thursday said that over 5.5 million taxable individuals in the informal sector had not been paying taxes to the state.

Abiru said this in Lagos at the 3rd Annual Lecture and Inauguration of the Public Service Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Lagos.

He said that there were eight million taxable individuals in the informal sector in the state, adding that only 2.5 million were captured in the tax net, leaving 5.5 million.

"Taxation is the major bedrock of this present administration as the internally generated revenue almost doubled the allocation from the Federal Government.

"The government is working hard to capture the other defaulting individuals and businesses into the net for proper collation,’’ he said.

Also speaking at the event, Doyin Owolabi, the President of ICAN, urged traders to report fake officials who were collecting taxes from them.

"Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of the country, so there are people expecting a lot from the government, but are not willing to pay their tax.

"Some are also complaining that taxes are being collected from them by some officials, but most of the funds do not get to the government's purse.

"Individuals in the informal sector should endeavour to report such fake officials to the appropriate sectors so that they won’t have to pay taxes twice," he said.

Owolabi said the government would be able to provide the necessary amenities to the people if internally generated revenue of the state was increased.

He advised rich individuals who were defaulting in their tax payment or underpaying taxes to desist from such corrupt acts.



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