Lagos hosts 149th JTB meeting, grows monthly IGR by 7,400% in 22yrs
The Lagos State Government and its agency, Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), yesterday, said its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) grew by 7,400 per cent between 1999 and 2021. This is even as it called for increased nationwide voluntary tax compliance at the 149th Joint Tax Board (JTB) meeting in Victoria Island.
The parley is a quarterly conference of chairmen of inland revenue services from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to appraise performances and deliberate on tax issues at the various levels of government.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, at the opening of the two-day event, said Lagos remains the largest contributor to national non-oil revenues via corporate income taxes, Value Added Tax (VAT), customs duties, port charges, among others.
He said: “This is to be expected from the sub-national entity that is the most populous in the country and is also the biggest commercial hub. However, in the subsequent re-distribution of resources, we do not see any reflection of the contribution of Lagos State. Our share in this redistribution fails to take into account the demographic and infrastructure burdens and pressures that accompany being the economic nerve-centre of the nation.
“This state of affairs is what compelled the state, under the visionary leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to commence a transformational reform of its internal revenue process, within the ambit of the law. The result is that since 1999, the LIRS has undergone the most extensive tax administration reforms of any sub-national government in Nigeria. I am pleased to let you know that Lagos State has grown its IGR from N600 million monthly in 1999 to over N45 billion monthly as of today, an astounding increase of 7,400 per cent. It all began with ensuring the foundational autonomy of the LIRS, which the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law, 34 2006 helped achieve.”
In his remarks LIRS Executive Chairman, Ayodele Subair, stated that the tax models applied in major countries of the world with a high level of compliance had been difficult to replicate in Nigeria because “all the phenomena that make them a success are not available in Nigeria.”
He said the models include the existence of high levels of literacy of taxpayers and efficient data processing systems, which would aid detection of fraud and high levels of trust between the government and the people.