"Lagos can survive without oil" - Fashola

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has boasted that Lagos is the only state that can survive without the supply of crude oil, which is the stronghold of the nation’s economy, hence, it will continue to lead economically even if the supply of crude oil to the state is shutdown.

The Governor said this yesterday during the state’s sixth Taxation Stakeholders Conference in Ikeja. He said, “A life without tax is a lie. If they shut down on oil, this is the only state that can survive. Everything that we have done in the past six years was funded by our taxes.“Since I became Governor, I have not made any tax law; only implementing the existing laws on taxation.”

He added that it was possible because the government in the state had made it a policy to implement the laws on taxation without sentiments, which allows it to have funds for capital projects. He noted that majority of the state residents had not been paying their taxes, saying the government had started prosecution to achieve higher percentage in tax compliance by residents of the state.

He said, “While our population continues to grow, one cannot see appreciable growth in tax. Our record shows that only three million people are currently paying their taxes against eight million that should pay tax.

“Since we have a population of 20 million people in this state, it means that three million people are carrying the burden of 20 million, instead of eight that should be doing so. In the last four years, we have been doing enlightenment on the need to pay tax; but now, we will prosecute.”

Explaining further, Fashola said that the state government had made a list of the tax regime of the local governments which had been signed into law. Fashola further disclosed that his administration had wisely managed revenue generated to turn the state into a place where everything works.