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The Ogun government says it has increased the number of high networth individuals in its tax net from two to 45 and consequently generated over N500 million from them.

The Chairman of the Ogun Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS), Mr Adekunle Adeosun, said this on Thursday at a press briefing in Abeokuta.

Adeosun explained that the individuals have remitted between N10 million and above each to the state government on personal income tax, either through direct assessment or Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) scheme,

He said the development was the outcome of measures embarked upon by the state government to generate more revenue from the non-oil sector.

Adeosun said that the state had keyed into the Federal Government initiative of diversifying Nigeria’s economy through increased capacity to generate revenue from the non oil sector.

He attributed the achievement to conscious and massive investment by the state government in infrastructure and effective security mechanism.

Adeosun added that the state government had also removed bottlenecks against access to upscale residential areas and industrial estates while harmonising fees and levies payable by investors.

“The huge investment in infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, effective security mechanism as well as easy and unhindered access to land have created good investment atmosphere in Ogun.

“This development and our harmonised system of fees and levies payable by investors have improved the ease of doing business in Ogun which has made the state the industrial hub of the nation,’’ he said.

He added that the intensive and rigorous tax drive targeted at taxable individuals and corporate organisations from both formal and informal sectors had also contributed to the increased internally generated revenue of the state.

Adeosun, who recalled that the state’s IGR was less than N800 million before Gov. Ibikunle Amosun took over, noted with delight that “the figure has now increased to between N5 billion and N8 billion.’’

He said Ogun has become the industrial hub of Nigeria, maintaining that the state has the largest concentration of manufacturing firms in the country and the attendant huge revenue from VAT.

Adeosun argued that the Federal Government needed to factor such important variables in its rating of states with regards to revenue generation from tax.

“It is not right to discountenance the state from which the VAT was generated and simply focus on the reporting or the remitting state,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had recently claimed that 55 per cent of the revenue generated by the Federal Government from VAT receipts was being collected from Lagos State.

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