GOVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has allayed the fear of the citizens who have been expressing concerns about the new tax regime commencing today.
Governor Ajimobi said that government was only intensifying efforts to increase the state revenue base.
The governor said the tax drive was not meant to create hardship for the people but to block loopholes affecting the state economy.
Speaking through the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, on a live programme on the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) South-West broadcast station, the governor said government was not introducing new tax laws, but enforcing those that had been in existence.
According to him, “what we are doing is backed by law. We are not introducing a new thing. We are only trying to enforce payment of tax through our Board of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“We have met with associations and market leaders, intimating them of government’s improved tax drive and they have shown readiness to cooperate with us during the engagement.”
He also noted that “some citizens are law-abiding and they pay their taxes, levies and duties when due, but some have decided not to. It is the civic responsibility of every citizen to pay tax.
“Over the years, we have not been fully enforcing the tax laws in the state. Most states of the federation were comfortable with the revenue from the Federal Government, but now that the economy is dwindling, we have to look inward and increase our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“I assure you that we are not going to create unnecessary hardship for the people,” he stressed.