The Lagos State House of Assembly’s Committees on Finance and Public Accounts has said that the cooperation of eligible taxpayers is crucial to the successful implementation of the state’s 2016 budget.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the House passed the state’s 2016 N662.58 billion Appropriation Bill on Dec. 31, 2015 and Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode signed it into law on Jan. 4.
The Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Mr Yinka Ogundimu, told NAN that the budget performance required both the will of the Executive arm of Government and the cooperation of residents in tax payment.
Ogundimu said, “It requires the government’s will for the budget to have 100 per cent performance of the electoral promises made to the people.
“Since the money is not stored somewhere, it is just expected income. We need to do more on Internally General Revenue (IGR).
“If about 52 per cent of the 2016 budget will be financed by the IGR, so there is need for everybody to be able to work hard to re-orientate the people on the importance of paying taxes.
“Efforts should also be intensified to bring more people into the tax net. This will go a long way towards getting the expected income.”
According to him, people will be encouraged to pay taxes if they see amenities and more infrastructural development.
The lawmaker emphasised the need for his colleagues to discharge their oversight functions, without any compromise.
“We should do our own work and make sure that we ask corrective questions during the oversights, for the people to see the dividends of democracy,” Ogundimu said.
Also, speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts(Local), Mr Bisi Yusuff, said that the flow of the expected income would determine the success of budget, in terms of implementation.
Yusuff, who commended Gov. Ambode and his predecessors for their prudence, told NAN that many eligible taxpayers should be made to pay their taxes.
“If you look at the budget, about N540 billion would be generated in the state. We should appeal to our people to pay their taxes.
“If all taxable adults in Lagos State pay their taxes, you could imagine what the state would be getting. We may not even have to depend on the Federal Government anymore,” he said.
According to him, less than one per cent of the eligible taxpayers pay taxes in the state.
The lawmaker, however, expressed confidence in the governor to ensure the performance of the budget, while commending him for massive road repairs since his inauguration.
Yusuff noted that the expenditures of all other ministries will depend on the amount of revenue generated by the government during the fiscal year, saying that the lawmakers would review the books of the ministries quarterly.
The lawmaker gave assurance that the electorate would soon begin to enjoy the dividends of having voted for the administration.
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