Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) has said that only 4.5 million or 18.75 per cent of the 24 million people resident in Lagos State, representing 18.75 per cent are registered, taxpayers.
Executive Chairman, Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Ayodele Subair disclosed this in a press interview adding that the revenue agency is, however, working to capture more residents into the tax net of the state.
He stated: “We have approximately 4.5 million registered taxpayers and we intend to move this to an average of seven to eight million at the end of the day.
“It is a continuous exercise and unfortunately, with the way Nigeria is, we have problems with the identification of residents. And we are working on a lot of strategies to ramp up and increase the number of taxpayers.
So, it is a work in progress for us.” The LIRS boss said that the agency plans to deploy technology as one of the tools with which to achieve its target and also ease the tax payment processes. Speaking on the relocation of businesses to neighbouring Ogun State and the possible impact on the tax revenue of Lagos, Subair said that LIRS does not have statistics on the companies that moved from Lagos to Ogun State.
He said: “Lagos has always been at the forefront of taxation and Lagos has always been efficient and effective in collecting taxes. So, after some time, people and recalcitrant taxpayers would think that if they move from one area to another area, perhaps the tax people would not be so efficient which is what has really happened.
“Much credit to my colleagues in Ogun State as they are ramping up on all of their tax strategies and very soon maybe these same people would run back to Lagos to come and join us. We encourage a lot of commerce in Lagos and our government supports businesses heavily. So, I believe that it is a matter of time before all these businesses start to come back to Lagos.”