Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, on Monday disclosed that the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration in Osun State has raised the state Internal Revenue Service above 30 per cent between 2016 and 2017.
Fowler equally stated that the tax payersâ€™ money has been duly spent and justified with massive infrastructure and socio-security programmes being put in place by the Aregbesolaâ€™s government.
He made the disclosure during a courtesy call on the governor as part of activities lined up for the 140th Quarterly Meeting of the Joint Tax Board, being hosted by the Osun Board of Internal Revenue Service in Osogbo.
The FIRSâ€™ chairman commended Aregbesolaâ€™s government for being resilient, dogged and focused at raising the bar of good governance in all ramifications in spite of the present economic realities.
Fowler noted that Osun under Aregbesolaâ€™s watch has demonstrated high sense of commitment to human and capital development, a stride made possible through innovative ideology to robust taxation.
He held that it is on record that the state has made giant strides to stimulate her economy with determined efforts to an improved revenue generation, calling on other states to key into the Osun revenue generation policy, which has witnessed a geometric improvement in the last few years.
According to him, â€œWhat Aregbesola has done in increasing tax revenue in Osun is amazing; while the FIRS is advocating at least 25% increment from states, it is worthy of note that Aregbesola has increased the tax revenue of Osun above 30 per cent between 2016-2017.
â€œAnother significant observation having gone round Osun is that one can easily see that tax playersâ€™ money is working, a lot can be learnt from Osun on what taxation can do for a state.
â€œOsun was not like this before the advent of this administration and I know that Osun doesnâ€™t get much from the federal allocations, so these spate of infrastructural development can only happen through an improved IGR.â€
In his address, Aregbesola called on the people to imbibe the spirit of tax payment, stressing that no meaningful development can take place without the people assisting the government through tax payment.
He called on governments all over the country to mobilise their people to work and be ready to contribute part of their earnings to support societal growth, saying that public service can only be possible through taxation.
Aregbesola said the reliance of the country on oil revenue for survival is no longer safe as the product would no longer be useful in the next 30 years.
The governor then called for an alternative to generating revenue for the country which everyone must take as a duty for all.
He said: â€œMany people fail to realise that public service is only possible through tax, if we think what is happening in Nigeria is sustainable then we are deceiving ourselves because our mainstay as a country which is oil will no longer be useful in the next 30 years.
â€œThe only thing we must do today is to develop alternatives to oil revenue; we must do more to find an alternative.
â€œThere is no other way to run a modern government except through the contribution of those who are working; the greatest displacement of a man is not being able to contribute to the development of his environment.
â€œAs long as you are working, you should be ready to support the system; the people should be ready to participate in development by contributing from their revenue.â€