Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Chairman of the Ekiti State Internal Revenue Board, Mr. Olumuyiwa Ogunmilade, has expressed displeasure over the high incidence of tax evasion in the state, which he said is leading to colossal depletion of the state revenue profile.
Ogunmilade said the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was resolute to block all leakages to increase the state IGR, in view of the consistent dwindling revenue accruing to the state from the federation accounts.
Ogunmilade said the economy of the state would shrink considerably with consequential effect like inability to build the desired infrastructure, if the state fails to look inwards and boost its IGR.
The Revenue Board boss, who spoke during a meeting with some local government management staff across the 16 council areas of the state at the weekend, said the state government would no longer tolerate tax evasion by individuals or organisations.
According to him, “Tax evasion is criminal and it shouldn’t happen at a time the government was desperately desirous of inventing ways of increasing its internally generated revenue due to the drop in federal allocations.
“In doing this, both the states and local governments should be involved in the process of paying taxes and raking in rates for the development of the state.
“The state House of Assembly had passed the Internally Generated Revenue Bill 2018, which has been signed into law by Fayemi, which spelt out the expected taxes to be paid from every quarter and the punitive measures attached to failure to fulfill such constitutional obligations.
“Our people must be responsible enough to see tax payment as an obligation that must be discharged for the benefit of this state. What makes Lagos and other advanced nations what they are? It’s tax.
“No nation can develop when its tax policy is weak. In advanced climes, people perceived tax payment as a constitutional duty that must be discharged at all cost, and that brings about development; it is not a magic.”
Ogunmilade disclosed that the state revenue board would soon set up committees in all the local government areas on how to generate more revenues from the third tier to serve as catalyst for development at the grassroots level.