FILE PHOTO: President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Dame Gladys Simplice (left), presenting a plaque to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State during a courtesy visit by the executive members of the Institute at Lagos House, Alausa, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday called on residents to always pay their taxes, so as to ensure good governance.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the advice while receiving leadership of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) on a courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Ikeja.

Sanwo-Olu said that there was need to get citizens to understand that issues around taxation, apart from being a law, must be obeyed.

The governor said tax was a form of intervention that the government could have from people to bring about the delivery of good governance.

“All of our people want services; they want a better environment; they want quality health, and they want better education. Also, they want roads, and potholes to be fixed.

“It is only when we also realise that it is a partnership, that the citizens need to meet up with their civic responsibilities for government to be able to implement, and we all have a better living and working environment.

“We are committed to ensuring that we bring about good governance, and what we do is to ensure that our programmes and our engagement are for the greatest good and for the greatest number.

“That way we can see the largest impacts of our interventions in socio-economic activities,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said his administration’s tax drive was not to hurt the residents and businesses operating in the state, but to widen the tax net to get key promises of this administration delivered.

The governor said that the autonomy being enjoyed by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) would not be tampered with.

According to him, the revenue agency has enjoyed unrestrained independence, and this administration will continue to strengthen the agency to achieve its yearly revenue targets.

He said his government had fortified LIRS by prioritising the agency’s monthly subventions and motivated its personnel to drive up efficiency.

“LIRS monthly allocation gets to them as first-line charge; I don’t even need to approve before their overhead gets to them.

“We have made everything available in order to motivate LIRS to deliver on its mandate, and we will continue to support the agency for improvement.

“I recently approved an increment in LIRS staff remuneration, because we know how important the success of the agency is to my administration,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The CITN President, Dame Gladys Simplice, said that in spite of the innovative approach deployed by the Lagos Government in its tax administration, the state could achieve improved efficiency and growth in its revenue generation.

Simplice urged the state governor to appoint tax professionals as decision-makers in strategic government’s departments and agencies.

She said that Lagos must re-invigorate its tax advocacy to capture those in the informal sector.