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Lagos targets third largest economy by 2020, Africa’s mega city in 2025

By Gbenga Salau and Gloria Ehiaghe
13 November 2017   |   4:15 am
With a target to become Africa’s third largest economy by 2020 and Africa’s model mega city in 2025, the Lagos State government has reiterated its commitment to sustain the existing partnership with the private sector.

The president, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande.

Threatens to shut tax-defaulting companies

With a target to become Africa’s third largest economy by 2020 and Africa’s model mega city in 2025, the Lagos State government has reiterated its commitment to sustain the existing partnership with the private sector.

This it aims to do by creating more business-support infrastructure and developing sound policies, which will build a solid framework and enable businesses thrive.

To ensure smooth operations, the private sector has been advised to play its own part in the social contract by ensuring taxes are paid promptly in order to meet the obligations of the state.

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who stated this yesterday during the closing ceremony of the 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair said that the state is committed to supporting the business community through policies that will ease the process of doing business.

According to Ambode, the objective of job and wealth creation is dependent on the state’s ability to create and sustain a conducive business environment that will attract more private sector investments particularly in the critical and largely untapped sectors of state government.

At its Special Day at the fair yesterday, the governor said the state being a global economic and financial hub, will not stop being a pathfinder in Nigeria’s drive for economic recovery and sustainable growth.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, Ambode noted that owing to the nation’s over dependence on oil, he urged operators to explore the various sectors in the state to revive the country from economic dearth.

President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Nike Akande, tasked governments at both the federal and state levels to address the issues of enabling environments in the country, especially as regards infrastructure.

She said this is necessary in order to fully harness the huge enterprising resource of domestic and foreign investors for the diversification of the economy and welfare of the citizenry.Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye said that the participation of the state government in the annual trade fair has afforded the state to showcase the programmes and projects of the state government driven by various MDAs and has also provided a platform for the Micro, Small, Medium Entrepreneurs in the state’s pavilion to relieve them of the burden of bearing the cost of participation, thereby ensuring their visibility and improved patronage by domestic and foreign patrons.

Meanwhile, the State Government, yesterday, threatened to shut the corporate headquarters of organisations in the state, defaulting in remitting statutory taxes to government from Monday, November 20.

In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, it said some banks have failed to remit statutory taxes, including withholding taxes on bank interest for more than 10 years, stating that the government has resolved to ensure compliance with statutory tax remittances.

He warned that any company found to have evaded tax would not be spared, adding that it is in the interest of defaulting companies and their management to remit the statutory taxes to the state within the grace period to avoid embarrassment.

“All law abiding corporate organisations are advised to adhere to this directive as the state government has given enough grace period for them to remit their taxes. The government will on Monday, November 20, commence the process of shutting down the headquarters of corporate organisations, including banks that have failed to remit statutory taxes to government coffers. It is in the interest of companies who are yet to remit their taxes to do so on or before Monday,” Ashade said.

“Prompt payment of tax will enable the government to provide the necessary infrastructure and improve the standard of living of the people, but when people pay their taxes promptly, government is encouraged to do more. The administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has shown in the last two and half years that taxes paid are judiciously spent on projects that have impacted positively on the lives of Lagos citizens,” Ashade said.

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