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Lagos tax system worthy of emulation

25 February 2016, 21:35Okoro Chinedu

Lagos – The Federal and other State Governments have been urged to emulate Lagos' tax-collection system to boost revenues.

A leading local bank, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), commenced the Lagos’ revenue collection agency after it was disclosed the state’s revenues soared from N600 million per month in 1999 to N23 billion in 2014.

“The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service provides a blueprint of how to get the job done,” FBN Capital stated on Thursday.

FBN said the agency deployed a combination of strict enforcement, steps to make it easier to pay taxes and public relations.

“It deliberately targeted the big earners first for the example set to low-income Lagosians, and closed down a well-known electronics market when it found the occupying companies were not paying their dues. (They did rapidly.)”

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The commendable rating of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service coincided with revelations the total monthly payout by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to the three tiers of government in February (from January revenues) declined marginally to N370 billion from N388 billion the previous month.

The net distribution from the federation account and the value-added tax pool combined is projected at N5,72 billion this year in the expenditure framework for 2016-18.

The payout in both January and February fell short of the projected pro rata monthly average of N477 billion.

FBN noted there were initiatives underway to boost revenue collection from the non-oil economy.

These include the Treasury Single Account, a review of waivers and exemptions, computerization, efficiency gains and recoveries (broadly defined by ourselves to include fines).

“These initiatives will bear fruit over time. We are therefore unlikely to see much impact until H2 (second half) 2016,” FBN stated.

- CAJ News


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