Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has decried the situation where only a few percentage of the population pay their taxes as expected even as government battles to meet up with its several obligations to the citizenry.
Speaking at a recent sensitization workshop on Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition and Conference (WATEC), Governor Ambode, said out of a massive population of 22million, only 600,000 Lagos residents are faithfully paying their taxes, and that such was not helpful to scale up provision of infrastructure and other amenities for the people.
According to the governor, the government has identified the need for residents to adopt a willful approach to the payment of taxes as a means of addressing fundamental challenges confronting the State and accelerating development in all sectors and sections.
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Responding to a suggestion from one of the participants at the workshop that the State Government should complete the ongoing shoreline protection particularly in the Lekki and Ajah axis as one of the ways to mitigate the impact of torrential rainfalls which caused flooding in the axis last week, Governor Ambode said in as much as government was willing to do such, it was being inhibited by its limited resources.
He said, “The number of people paying taxes in Lagos is less than 600,000 people and we are 22million and then 67 percent of the people living in Lagos are below the age of 35 and even the retirees, how much are they paying? They are on pension. So, you have to go through your nose and you want to be as compassionate as possible that in a recession, you don’t overtax people”.