Despite its huge war-chest, Lagos is leaking revenue. And with a seemingly unwieldy population of around 20 million citizens, who are daily pursued by the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) and other revenue-generating agencies to pay their taxes, levies, and fines, that leak is not so surprising.
Although the state reportedly contributes more than 60 per cent of the total tax revenue accruing to the federal till on a monthly and annual basis, there is always room for a tighter state revenue generation drive that is both efficient and citizen-friendly.
Recently, a close friend discovered one of these revenue leakages, albeit at some personal discomfort to his pocket. Pressed to answer the call of nature (urination) under the CMS/Marina Bridge on the Island, he was accosted by two officials purportedly working for the State, with one sporting the green KAI t-shirt. There were no visible signs or warning from the officials in mufti.
After entreaties on his poor health and the urgent need to avoid being dragged to the nearby mobile court for prosecution, he was â€˜askedâ€™ to buy a container of Izal disinfectant, from prices ranging from 1.8k and above; and he ended up parting with N1,000, in a process more punitive than corrective.
From his interaction, it appeared the â€˜officialsâ€™ are all in cahoots to make money at the expense of the government. As is said in street parlance, this one is another job for the boys.
Although Lagos is generating billions daily from other revenue sources, this is a revenue leak. The least government can do is place visible warning signs to deter offenders and ensure a cleaner environment. For a state seeking to be ranked among the cleanest cities in the world, that is not asking for too muchâ€¦is it?
– Abimbola Akosile