Developers, others laud Lagos over abolition of cash payments on tax, land use charge
T HE decision by the Lagos State government to abolish cash payment for land use charge has been described as a welcome development by stakeholders, particularly real estate investors and the developers.
To them, the move, apart from enhancing revenue for government, “is also one of the ingredients capable of promoting ‘Ease of Doing. Business’”, said Mr. Thomas Enakhare, a real estate consultant, who is the Chief Executive, Broadway Consulting Firm, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
According to him, e-payment is not only to eliminate corrupt practices, but also is convenient for business transaction, doing documentation and other processes involved in land matters.
Speaking against the backdrop of the launching of the electronic payment scheme at the Guaranty Trust Bank Opebi branch last week, where Governor Akinwunmi Ambode hinted that Lagos State government would no longer accept cash payment in revenue collection effective from March 1, 2018, another commentator, Mr. Femi Adetunji, while agreeing that the measure was capable of improving on service delivery, said it’s also an effective means to block revenue leakages.
At the launching, Ambode stated: “In order to ensure that government improves on the quality of service delivery to our people, effective from March 1 2018, no payment or taxes will be made by cash henceforth across the state.
“Tax payers should be able to pay their bills through the approved channels at their own time and convenience. The transaction process is now going to be every day, anytime and no weekends.”
The initiative, which is in partnership with Interswitch Limited, was designed to ensure that all the multi-layer platforms were deployed and used by all government ministries, agencies, parastatals, associated companies and units.
While explaining the rationale behind his decision to lead the payment of Land Use Charge, Governor Ambode said the government could not preach and promise prosperity without leading by example, just as he urged residents and all taxable adults to be faithful to their civic obligations.
In a related development, a new regulation for the fiscalisation of the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Tax Law was also launched last week.
The new regulation is to ensure that stakeholders in the hospitality industry embrace the initiative designed to put efficient machinery in place for the enhancement of collection process and effective compliance.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja on the new regulation, Governor Ambode said automation of the system was introduced to address the high level of under-payment and non-remittance of what is due to government, however assuring that it would be a win-win situation for all parties.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said it was important for all stakeholders to play their part in scaling up taxation being one of the ways government is able to fund its activities and implement projects and policies for the overall benefit of the people.
“All hoteliers, event centre proprietors, restaurant and bar owners must allow the integration of their systems along with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) server to facilitate the monitoring of consumption tax transactions and remittance of same to the State”, Adebule pleaded.