THE Group Managing Director of ASCON Oil Company, Mrs. Grace Olowofoyeku has been honoured by the Governor of Lagos State for being tax compliant. Olowofoyeku was among three other Nigerians who bagged the individual category of the award.
She claimed the award for complying with the government in the area of taxation and she was said to have been committed to tax payment in Lagos 100 per cent. N In his remarks at the Event Centre, Ikeja GRA, venue of the 7th stakeholders conference
on taxation hosted by the state government, Governor Fashola told the audience that by committing to the payment of tax, Lagosians have advanced the state’s budget from
a paltry N14 billion 14 years ago to half a trillion annual budget in recent times. Noting that this is the seventh time that the people have gathered in January to talk about tax, the Governor said: “It shows the undying spirit of the people of this state that
when they commit to something they deliver it”, adding, “this year, more than N467 billion
was budgeted and about 70 per cent of that is now being funded by you individuals. That is the independence you have gained by taking your destiny in your hands”.
According to the Governor, while many states in the country are today borrowing to pay salaries as a result of dwindling resources engendered by corruption, the State has continued to pay salaries of its workers without having to borrow money from anywhere.
“Today we are beginning to see dwindling resources to states. 400,000 barrels of crude oil is beginning to disappear. In the morning we will hear that $69 billion have not been accounted for, in the evening they would say it is now only $12 billion they are looking for.
It is bad enough to look for one dollar of public fund. But the result of all these is that the resources to the states are dwindling. Some states are borrowing to pay salaries. But your State continues to pay salaries without having to borrow money”, the Governor said.
He noted that the stakeholders’ questions on taxation have gone down drastically when compared to the early days of the conference when he had to answer over 30 questions. This, he said, shows that the idea and the compelling benefits of paying tax have become
a way of life for the people of the State.
Governor Fashola shared with the audience a text message sent to him by the Director for the Department of African Studies in the University of Oxford titled: “Lagos Taxpayers Survey and Behaviour” in which the author congratulated the state governor for being able
to win the hearts of Lagosians by “providing quality public services and spending tax revenues well”, adding that “it is the best way to build the social contract between citizens and their government”.
In her presentation titled: “Women and Taxation”, former Minister of Industries, Dr. Onikepo Akande urged women to be tax-compliant.
Also present at the event were members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioners for Information and Strategy and his counterpart in the Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba and Ben Akabueze respectively, former Secretary General of
the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Lateefat Okunnu who also received award for 100 per cent compliance in tax payment, Chairman, state House of Assembly Committee on Finance, Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho,
traditional rulers and market women leaders as well as other prominent individuals.