The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has insisted that his administration has no plans to increase taxes but needs more citizens’ participation in tax payment.
The governor made this known to journalists shortly after he visited the state Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday in Benin.
Obaseki said that he visited the service because the tenure of the board had expired, adding that there was the need to reenergize the service before the appointment of a new board.
According to him, there is no need to increase taxes, what we need is more citizens’ participation in tax payment.
“Today the ratio of citizens who pay taxes vis-a-vis the population is very, very small and the burden is only on few who pay tax.
“Henceforth, everyone who earns revenue or some source of income by law should pay money to the state.
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“That is what we are trying to do by ensuring that everybody pays something directly to the state government treasury.
“We want to be sure that we reenergize the service; right now we are not meeting our budget in terms of revenue collection in the state,” he said.
According to the governor, there are leakages in the tax system; we believe that we can achieve more of decency by restructuring the way revenue is collected in the state.
“The meeting today is to meet with members of staff of the service; to work with them and redesign the revenue collection system in the state because it is not centralized
“So what we are looking at is to have semi-independent offices across the 18 local governments of the state that will be responsible for all the taxes that will be collected in that area.
“The other reforms we are looking at is to collaborate with the local governments to ascertain what they are supposed to generate, so as to reduce the burden on the citizens,” Obaseki said.