Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the September 10 Edo gubernatorial election, Godwin Obaseki, has promised to create an enabling environment that will bring more taxpayers into the tax net.
Obaseki made the declaration at an interactive session that members of a socio-political group, Edo Mass Movement, held with governorship candidates in Benin City.
“Taxes make up over 90 percent of IGR which the state government depends on to provide development for the people. The truth is that there is need to make more people pay tax. However, we can only achieve that if the people earn money. When voted into office, our administration will create jobs for youths and empower our women, thereby boosting the local economy”.
Obaseki expressed regret over the manner issues affecting taxation have been politicised in the state, noting that there is nothing like double taxation, but extortion perpetrated by certain agencies, particularly those representing local governments.
“There is no double taxation. The problem is that local governments go around giving out consultancy jobs only for them to turn it into extortion. It is not taxation but extortion. There is a difference between taxation and extortion. I don’t support extortion and I am going to stop it,” he vowed.
Obaseki also emphasized that the real concern for now should be how to create a fair tax system because of the burden that exists from the fact that there is only a negligible percentage of taxpayers in the tax net.
“What we should be talking about is fair tax because there is a burden of tax. This is because only 150,000 people, less than five percent of the population, pay tax in the state.”
He pointed out that tax is very important for government because besides getting over 90 percent of internally generated revenue from it, it carries out its development responsibilities from it.

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