Achieving public well-being through tax compliance
“…I remember one of the witty but wisdom-laden sayings of the hero of our current democratic dispensation. The man that the stadium in which this event is taking place is named after, Aare MKO Abiola. He once said: “No one can clap with one hand”. The task of building our future is a collective task. It is beyond what I alone can shoulder or the team the at will work with me in government. Rather, it is an Aaro that we owe each other.”
Sir: The above quote was pulled from the inaugural speech of the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, when he was being sworn into office on May 29, 2019 at MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta. The governor was only being sincere in recognising that a tree cannot make a forest. For Abiodun, combined efforts of all was essential, in driving the required development; – an undying desire of every citizen and resident of the state.
In this regard, both the government and the governed, leaders and followers; have roles to play in the legitimate quest for development. And until each party recognises its roles and played it as expected, growth would forever remain a mirage! When both the governed and the government play their part, there will be all-round development for all to enjoy as dividend of democracy.
Government at all levels is expected to provide the parameters for everyday behaviour of citizens, provide for their security, well-being and happiness through good road network, schools, hospitals, housing, portable water, among others. The administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun had since inception been working assiduously to ensure provision of good governance through even distribution of dividend of democracy across all nooks and crannies of the state. Premised on its ISEYA mantra, the government has rehabilitated and reconstructed roads (both major and link) across the state to enhance traffic flow and transportation system. It embarked on the construction of solar-panelled borehole and rehabilitation of dams to improve water supply. It has also funded the Provision of Ambulances to provide 24-hours emergency services and renovated Primary Health Care Centres across the state.
So, as the government is striving to play its role, the governed must complement government efforts geared towards achieving the desired growth physically and economically. This is the least that can be expected of anyone worth the toga of being tagged a responsible citizen of the state. Just as the motto of the present administration says, “Building Our state is a collective Task” and the Yoruba version says Ïgbega Ipinle Ogun, Ajose gbogbo wa ni”. In conclusion, Payment of relevant taxes by all taxable resident adults in the state is the only sure way government can be encouraged and supported to take the state to the desired level. Let us all Join hands to build Ogun State, through voluntary tax compliance.
• Abolanle Ogunlami is of Ogun State Internal Revenue Service