The Lagos Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, earned N24.5 billion in tax revenue in just one month as part of its Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.
This is coming as the Lagos State Government vowed that the era of tax evasion in the state was over, stressing that, government has put machinery in place to aggressively enforce the tax law in order to shore up revenue.
Commissioner for Finance, Mustapha Akinkunmi disclosed at a news conference organised by the LIRS in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday, that in January, 2016, the LIRS contributed N24.5 billion in revenue to the coffer of the state government.
Akinkunmi said the current government is issuing policies aimed at aligning the economy with these goals, which would set the state on a path to growth and stability as evidenced by the major developments implemented by LIRS.
According to the commissioner, the N24.5 billion tax revenue generation by LIRS in January amounted to 98 percent budget performance for that month and recording 12 percent growth from the same period in 2014.
He added that despite the harsher economic terrain presented in 2015, the state managed to realize increased tax revenue, off the back of collections from taxpaying members of the public, adding that in 2015, the LIRS had contributed 79 percent to IGR in 2015.
“This equated to 56 percent of the state’s total revenue, including Federal Transfers. The total revenue achieved in 2015 was just short of N400 billion and is expected to continue growing, driven by strong tax collection.
“This administration has been able to make significant investment in security apparatus across the state and has provided street-lighting across the state. We are reducing costs through investment in technology which is a powerful tool for cost reduction through efficient administration,” he said.
State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem warned that the era of people evading tax in Lagos was gradually coming to an end as government would expand the tax net to cover lots of the working population.
Kazeem vowed that government would now begin aggressive enforcement of the tax law and go after tax evaders and ensure that they were prosecuted and sent to jail.
He stated that the state government would set up a Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit to partner the LIRS to prosecute tax offenders in court, adding that “tax dodger, watch out, we will get you.”