The Lagos State Government has disclosed that only 700,000 out of the 4.8 million Lagosians registered as taxpayers are active taxpayers out of a population of about 22 million people.
The state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Samuel Egube disclosed this in his address at the Lagos Central Senatorial district Y2020 Budget Consultative Forum which held at Surulere on Friday.
He said the government would expand the tax net by engaging and encouraging the citizens to ensure that they participate in their tax obligations.
“The more taxes we are able to collect, the more we are able to do, the more we are able to support small businesses, create and facilitate businesses, put the infrastructure in place that will be able to attract more investments and create jobs and do many other things.
“It is important that as we want to get Lagos greater, we want citizens to participate in governance and also pay their contributions.
Egube said the year 2020 budget is going to be based on the six developmental pillars of the government as captured in the ‘T.H.E.M.E.S’ agenda of the administration.
While assuring that the administration will complete all inherited on-going projects, he said the administration’s dream of a greater Lagos will be realized through engagement and participation of the citizens.
He said the focus of the budget will be woven around the present administration’s advocacy for an inclusive government that will run under the policy thrust based on the ‘THEMES’ agenda.
“Which are: Traffic management and transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st-century economy, Entertainment and Tourism, Security and governance.
“The Y2020 budget is being designed to be people-oriented in order to ensure a Lagos that works for all irrespective of age, gender, tribe or status.”
He said the government must grow the GDP at a rate faster than the ever-increasing population of the state and that while the state will deploy debt profile focus on capital expenses it would also ensure that at least 55 per cent of the budget will be on investment in capital expenditure.
He decried the lack of support by the government in the entertainment and tourism sector, saying every achievement recorded there has been on private initiative.
“The government is going to actively support that sector, it is our view that the government must act to support the sector this time around”, Egube said.
The budget consultative forum which will hold in the states’ three senatorial districts, he said, is aimed at giving credence as well as greater transparency and accountability to the state’s budget preparation process.
“We are going to gather the aspirations of the people in Lagos and ensure it comes into the budget, but I can assure you that we are going to focus the budget very squarely on the thematic areas of ‘THEMES’ which tend to capture what we look forward to hear and to see in Lagos”, the commissioner said.