Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that out of the 4.5 million taxable adults living in the metropolis, only 110 pay taxes worth over N10 million.
Mr Sanwo-Olu made this disclosure during the question and answer segment of The Platform Nigeria, an event organised by The Covenant Christian Church Place, Iganmu, Lagos, a religious organisation headed by Pastor Poju Oyemade. The annual programme was themed Redesigning the Nigerian Economy With New Ideas for this year’s edition.
“You will be amazed to know that the number of people who pay more than N10 million tax in Lagos is about 110 people,” The Governor declared while fielding questions from convener of the televised event.
However, the Governor asserted that his administration was not eager to increase tax rate in the state to meet its financial needs, but would concentrate on expanding the tax net of people who pay taxes in the state.
“We are not saying that we should increase tax, but we encourage people to be on the tax net,” he said.
Mr Sanwo-Olu further revealed that only about 700,000 people of the 4.5 million eligible taxpayers in the state pay taxes, which is just a little more than 15 percent.
“We are also appealing to our tax agency to be more proactive and reach out to people who are not paying tax,” the Governor, who was greeted with applause, said.
The Lagos state Governor also called for what he tagged Creative Financing, which he said would take a large chunk of pressure off the need for taxation.
“We can do what we call asset securitization, which will look at all the assets we have and know which of them can we leverage something out of and put into capital expenditure,” Mr Sanwo-Olu stated.