By Ariwodola Idowu
Ado Ekiti – Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, on Monday said the state government would eliminate fraud in the collection of tax in the state to increase the current Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The deputy governor stated this while addressing traditional rulers, community leaders, civil servants and other stakeholders at a budget consultative forum held at the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
He urged the people of the state to support the Gov. Kayode Fayemi administration by paying their taxes regularly, adding that tax fraud and evasion are factors responsible for the low revenue base of the state.
Egbeyemi said government would put mechanisms in place to ensure that tax payers receive alerts on their phones as soon as payments were made to ensure accountability in the system.
He said government would not tolerate unscrupulous tax officials who divert government revenue into their pockets through printing of revenue receipts thereby denying government the funds needed to provide amenities for the people.
He explained that government would also appoint experts to monitor revenue collectors to instill probity, transparency and accountability into tax administration and plug loopholes through which its revenue found its way into private pockets.
According to him, Fayemi is ready to serve Ekiti diligently and was irrevocably committed to its development.
He however added that the residents of Ekiti must play their own part by paying their taxes to enable government meet their needs in providing basic social amenities.
“I want to appeal to our Obas, chiefs and community leaders to cooperate with us by enlightening our people to always pay their taxes for government to render better services to them.
“Majority of our people, except salary earners, don’t pay taxes. It is when they need Certificates of Occupancy (CoF) or they are asked to produce evidence of tax payment that they will be running up and down.
“We must tell ourselves the truth because you have elected us to serve you. Lagos relies heavily on tax and there is no shop owner or house owner that does not pay tax. We also need your tax to develop Ekiti,’’ he said. (NAN)