The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state will partner the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria to drive advocacy campaigns, so as to widen the tax net in the state.
Obaseki said this when members of the Benin District Society of the CITN paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City.
In a statement, he explained that the collaboration would help the state government deepen advocacy programmes to sensitise members of the public on their civic responsibility to the need to pay taxes.
The governor noted that the state government needed to expand its tax net to sustain its developmental strides, adding that focus in the past was corporate organisations, while neglecting about 70 per cent of the labour force and those who operated the Small and Medium Enterprises in the state.
He said, “Government relies on the economic activities of its citizens for sustenance. This is done through taxation. We need to emphasise the need for citizens to develop a habit of paying tax. We also need to tweak the system so that owners of the SMEs will be conscious of the fact that they need to pay taxes.”
Obaseki also noted that people who earned more in the society should pay more taxes while urging political leaders to pay stipulated taxes based on their income.
He assured members of the institute of government’s support and promised that the state would allocate a parcel of land for the institute to build its Benin secretariat.
The President of the institute, Dame Simplice, commended the performance of the Obaseki-led administration in setting up industrial clusters in the state to encourage production.
She noted that the institute was ready to partner the Edo State Government in its initiative to improve revenue collection, urging the state to support some of its programmes, which included exchange programmes and study tours.