More Edo citizens must pay tax: Gov. Obaseki
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo says it has become imperative for more residents of the state to pay their taxes as long as they are earning an income.
“Today the ratio of citizens who pay taxes vis-a-vis the population is very, very small and the burden is only on few who pay tax,” Mr Obaseki told journalists after he visited the state’s Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday in Benin.
“Henceforth, everyone who earns a revenue or some source of income by law should pay money to the state.
“That is what we are trying to do by ensuring that everybody pays something directly to the state government treasury,” he said.
Mr Obaseki said that he visited the service because the tenure of the board had expired, adding that there was the need to re-energise the service before the appointment of a new board.
“We want to be sure that we re-energise the service; right now we are not meeting our budget in terms of revenue collection in the state,” he said.
The governor cleared that there is no need to increase taxes but more citizens need participation in tax payment.
He said there are leakages in the state’s tax system, which he believes can be restructured to achieve more decency in the way revenue is collected in the state.
“The meeting today is to meet with members of staff of the service; to work with them and redesign the revenue collection system in the state because it is not centralised
“So what we are looking at is to have semi-independent offices across the 18 local governments of the state that will be responsible for all the taxes that will be collected in that area.
“The other reforms we are looking at is to collaborate with the local governments to ascertain what they are supposed to generate, so as to reduce the burden on the citizens,” Mr Obaseki said.
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