Lagos increases tax revenue by 12% despite economic crunch

Lagos increases tax revenue by 12% despite economic crunch

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 5:09 pm

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Despite economic crunch, the Lagos Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, raked into government coffers N24.5 billion in just one month as part of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.

This came as the Lagos State Government vowed that the era of tax evasion in the state was over. Government said it has put machinery in place to aggressively enforce the tax laws in order to shore up revenue.

Commissioner for Finance, Mustapha Akinkunmi disclosed at a news conference organized by the LIRS in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday, that in January 2016, the LIRS contributed N24.5 billion in revenue to the coffers of the state government.

Akinkunmi said this current government is issuing policies aimed at aligning the economy with these goals, which would set the state on a path to growth and stability as evidenced by the major developments implemented by LIRS.

According to the commissioner, the N24.5 billion revenue generation by LIRS in January amounted to 98 percent budget performance for that month and recording 12 percent growth from the same period in 2015.

He added that despite the harsher economic terrain presented in 2015, the state managed to realize increased revenue, off the back of collections from taxpaying members of the public, adding that in 2015, the LIRS had contributed 79 percent to IGR in 201

“This equated to 56 percent of the state’s total revenue, including Federal Transfers. The total revenue achieved in 2015 was just short of N400 billion and is expected to continue growing, driven by strong tax collection.

“This administration has been able to make significant investment in security apparatus across the state and has provided street-lighting across the state. We are reducing costs through investment in technology which is a powerful tool for cost reduction through efficient administration,” he said.

State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem warned that the era of people evading tax in Lagos was gradually coming to an end as government would expand the tax net to cover lots of the working population.

Kazeem vowed that government would now begin aggressive enforcement of the tax law and go after tax evaders and ensure that they were prosecuted and sent to jail.

He stated that the state government would set up a Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit to partner the LIRS to prosecute tax offenders in court, adding that “tax dodger, watch out, we will get you.”

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