Sanwo-Olu to Launch Upgraded Lagos Revenue Management Portal for Ease of Tax Payment

•Government to boost IGR by expanding tax net

Peter Uzoho

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would next month unveil the newly-upgraded Revenue Management Portal of the State which was intended to improve taxpayers’ experience through self-service, on-boarding of additional payment gateways and multiple payment channels.

Special Adviser to the Lagos governor on Taxation and Revenue, Mr. Abdul-Kabir Ogungbo, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos during an interview with THISDAY, on the side-lines of the Justice Reform Summit 2024, with the theme, “Enhancing the Administration of Justice for Economic Growth, Investment Protection and Security in Lagos State.”

Through the support of the governor, Ogungbo said his office  was facilitating an end-to-end process automation among revenue-generating ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

He said the initiative was ultimately to widen the tax net and ease payments by taxpayers through a number of approaches including engagement with revenue-generating MDAs such as Lands Family, Health Family, and Environment.

He explained that part of the approaches was by engagement with external stakeholders including financial institutions, digital economy operators like Meta, Google, Microsoft, Mobile money operators, payment gateways; Flutter-wave, Paga, O-Pay, and Moniepoint

He further mentioned process review and optimisation, adding that the adoption of unique payer ID was structured to validate the identification of taxpayers by linking payer’s identity to LagID, National Identification Number (NIN), Phone Number, Biometric Verification Number (BVN), Driver’s License, and International Passport.

“There is an alignment between Lagos State and the Taiwo Oyedele-led Presidential Committee on Tax Reforms and Fiscal Policy. So, this is trying to streamline all the revenue sources.

“And Lagos has also commenced the introduction of an application called Lagos Revenue Portal which Mr. Governor will launch in June. This is to harmonise all the taxes at the state level and by extension, we are going to be seeing how local governments can be upgraded and see how revenues will be reduced or limited collection units”, Ogungbo stated.

He pointed out that tax was a constitutional obligation to citizens that are earning one form of income or the other, noting that the government was deliberate about ensuring that proper laws, policies and guidelines that would enable individuals and corporates to pay their taxes and bills to the state were put in place.

He added that the essence of automating revenue collection in the state was to ensure that all collections go straight to the government account called the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

“These are ultimately to make it more convenient for citizens to pay their bills to the state. The second thing that we put in place is to ensure that there is a system which allows for payers to pay.

“The system has to do with the interconnectivity of several stakeholders and subsystems, from the point of enumerating that payer, to identify that payer uniquely, to the point of assessing that payer, to the point where the payer is expected to make payments. And when you make payment, there is also a system to give you automated receipt,” the special adviser explained.

Going forward, Ogungbo said the government would be widening the tax net to further boost the state’s revenue without necessarily overburdening the current payers.

He also said the government would continue to collaborate with the judiciary to ensure that tax-related or revenue-related matters were quickly adjudicated to reinforce the willingness of taxpayers to fulfil their constitutional obligations and support the government to serve them better.

However, the special adviser attributed the successes achieved in the taxation and revenue areas of the state to the unflinching support given to them by the governor.

He said Sanwo-Olu had been intentional about tax payment while at the same time always giving amnesty to the non-taxable Lagosians owing to his belief that prosperity rather than poverty should be taxed.

Ogungbo added, “One of the major supports we’ve received from my boss is that taxation and revenue under the ministry of finance has always been headed by a director. This is to promote any person anchoring tax and revenue to the status of an exco, to be a member of the council.

“That’s the first fundamental support that you can have. Secondly, all the initiatives that are being put forward have been very graciously supported by the governor and he has announced everywhere he went and has been advising Lagosians on the essence of supporting the initiatives to ensure that revenues are paid adequately. That’s the best you can get from a boss who believes in that initiative.”

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