The Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) says on Monday that it has been able to capture 45 high networth individuals into tax net and rake in over N500 million from such individuals, increasing number of tax payers in that category from 2 to 45, which represents a milestone in the quest to earn revenue from non-oil sector.
It also notes that massive investment in infrastructure and effective security mechanism for which Ibikunle Amosun-led government undertook in Ogun state is now paying off as more high networth individuals living and working in the state are not only brought into the tax net, but also remit over N10 million and above, with three of them paying over N20 million as tax with one paying over N40 million.
It will also be recalled that prior to Governor Amosun’s administration, Ogun state generated less than N800 million as monthly internally generated revenue, but the advent of Ibikunle Amosun as Executive Governor of Ogun state has raised the internally generated revenue to an average of between N5 billion and N8 billion a month with the largest percentage coming from personal income tax.
This, according to findings, was made possible owing to huge investment in infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, effective security mechanism, easy and unhindered access to upscale residential areas and industrial estates; harmonized fees and levies among other economic factors, contribute largely to ease of doing business and the entire economic growth and development in the state.
Speaking on the entry of additional 45 high networth individuals into tax net who remit between N10 million and above to the state government on personal income tax, either through direct assessment or pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) scheme, Adekunle Adeosun, Chairman of Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) noted that the feat was commendable to the initiative of the Governor Amosun’s administration and team efforts.
Adeosun declared that the intensive and rigorous tax drives embarked upon by the state-owned internal revenue service targeted at taxable individuals and corporate organizations from both formal and informal sectors, coupled with massive infrastructure upgrade and security solutions, accounted for the increase in the level of tax remittance and tax compliance among the taxable population, particularly the high networth individuals.
The chairman of the state-owned revenue board, said although the federal government through the federal ministry of finance in conjunction with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) recently launched Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) as well as profiling the high networth individuals for tax purposes, tax drive and campaign had started in Ogun state before such moves were launched nationwide as the state is well known to be a bellwether in the informal sector tax initiatives.
Also, enhanced tax drives earlier started in Ogun state were preceded with intent to improve ease of doing business, having realized that the state hosts the largest concentration of manufacturing industries and needs to upgrade existing critical infrastructures, including security with a view to ensuring that both foreign and local investors do not only work, but reside in the state.
Acknowledging that Ogun state hosts the largest number of manufacturing companies and the preferred destination to inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Nigeria, Adeosun said, “Ogun state being largest industrial hub in the country lends credence to disagreement with the news item that one state accounts for 55% of VAT collections in the country.
We all know that VAT reporting is done from the head offices of most corporate organizations and we know where the head offices of these organizations are. There is need to change the narratives on VAT collections and give equitable recognition to the appropriate states as it is done with oil.