Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said Jaykay Pharmacy Limited, owned by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party owes the Lagos State Government about N1.6m land use charge.
According to him, the land use charge, which the company should have remitted to the office of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, had accrued for four consecutive years.
Speaking at the 8th Annual Lagos State Taxation Stakeholders Conference on Wednesday, Fashola said the free education and free health care provided for Lagos residents were funded from the tax.
The governor said, “Jaykay Pharmacy has not paid land use charge for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. It paid in 2013 and 2014. It owes this government N1, 629, 064.62. How many books will it have bought in the schools? How many drugs will it have provided in the hospital? I will advise you that you avoid inexperience. I will advise you that you avoid experiment.”
He advised the citizens not to accept promises of tax exemption from politicians because it would not sustain the state.
The governor recalled that he predicted that oil revenue, which the country largely depended on, was not sustainable when he assumed office, adding that Lagos State prepared ahead of the oil plunge by ensuring total compliance with tax remittance.
Fashola added, “Inspite of the oil drop, we paid salaries in December. And this month salaries have already been credited. The Federal Government and some states have not paid since October while some have not paid for eight months. But because we took our destiny in our hands, we wear our tax compliance as a badge of honour. Despite the economic problems, this state will continue to survive.
“Even the umbrella party were criticising us that we are taxing people excessively. They forgot that the law by which we collect the income tax, they amended it. They cannot manoeuvre us. We are always ahead of them.”
He added that the Federal Government was seven years behind Lagos State in taking proactive measures to sustain the economy by increasing revenue through tax generation and collection.
The Chairman, LIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, said the agency had recorded 96 per cent voluntary tax compliance in the organised private sector under the umbrella body of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, a record, which he explained, showed the success of the initiative.