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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Public Complaints Commission Unveils Public Feedback Mechanism.

The Public Complaints Commission has unveiled an independent public feedback mechanism for anyone seeking redress against administrative injustice in the country.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the National Secretary of the commission, Eteng Otu said over the years, they have received hundreds of thousands of complaints from aggrieved citizens adding that the feedback mechanism was a platform for all complaints to be addressed.

The co-chairman Business Action Against Corruption in Nigeria, Soji Apampa commended the commission for the initiative pointing out that the system was designed to assist complaints make reports even anonymously.

Mr. Ikuforiji should step down now as Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly


Mr. Ikuforiji should step down now as Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly
The conspiracy of silence over the money laundering trial of the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji is disturbing and unfortunate. It amount to immorality and flagrant rape of democratic norm for Mr. Ikuforiji to continue to pretend to be offering credible and legitimate leadership to the people of Lagos State as Speaker of the House of Assembly. With a corruption case bordering on abuse of office of the Speaker, Mr. Ikuforiji has a big burden that has cast serious aspersion on his honour, reputation and privilege and therefore his continued stay in that office constitute serious stain on the integrity of the legislative assembly and government of Lagos State in general.
It has become inappropriate for Mr. Ikuforiji to remain as Speaker of legislative assembly based on the principle of rule of law. It is important to assert that Mr. Ikuforiji cannot, in good conscience, exercise his duty creditably and to the best satisfaction of the people of Lagos state considering the negative public perception which continue to cast serious doubt on his personality as the number three citizen of our dear Centre of Excellence. It is an unambiguous fact that Mr. Ikuforiji is no longer fit to preside over the affairs of legislative arm of government until he totally dispensed with the on-going trial on money laundering.
It is also regrettable that respected social critics and acclaimed defenders of rule of law as well as pro-democracy activists have chosen to maintain deafening silence over this very crucial matter that borders on rule of law and which calls to question, the image of Lagos State as the bastion of civilized and democratic norm.
It should recalled that Hon. Herman Hembe, erstwhile Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market, resigned his leadership of the committee over a N39 million bribery allegations levelled against him even before investigation commenced on the allegation. Hon Hembe, a PDP-Benue lawmaker appreciates the tenet of rule of law in practical terms and did not wait or play on public perception before he stepped down honourably even before the allegations were investigated by the House and the anti-graft agencies.
It is therefore very unfortunate that Mr. Ikuforiji still parades himself as the speaker in the face of his trial for corrupt practices. It has therefore become pertinent to demand for the resignation of the Mr. Ikuforiji as Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly forthwith until the matter is concluded in court of law.
Let me also urge the good people of Lagos State as well all true lovers of democracy to prevail on Mr. Ikuforiji to step down with immediate effect to halt the contemptuous assault on democracy and the rule of law.
Dr. Ade Dosunmu, MON
Lagos State PDP Governorship Candidate for 2011 Election

PIXs: GOV. FASHOLA AT KEHINDE SOFOLA’S 5TH YEAR MEMORIAL LUNCHEON

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) discussing with Hon. Justice George Oguntade rtd (left) and Mr. Kayode Sofola SAN (middle) during the Kehinde Sofola (SAN) 5th Year Memorial Luncheon with the topic, “The Role of Lawyers in creating a better Nigeria: Can special courts expedite justice and tackle corruption?” at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) discussing with Hon. Justice George Oguntade rtd (left) and Mr. Kayode Sofola SAN (middle) during the Kehinde Sofola (SAN) 5th Year Memorial Luncheon with the topic, “The Role of Lawyers in creating a better Nigeria: Can special courts expedite justice and tackle corruption?” at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) with the Central Bank Deputy Governor, Mr. Tunde Lemo (left) during the Kehinde Sofola (SAN) 5th Year Memorial Luncheon with the topic, “The Role of Lawyers in creating a better Nigeria: Can special courts expedite justice and tackle corruption?” at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

PIXs: GOVS. FASHOLA, AMOSUN, PROF. WOLE SOYINKA OTHERS AT OGUN STATE INVESTORS’ FORUM

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle), former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba (left), Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa (2ndleft), Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson (2nd right) and Chairman, Lafarge WAPCO Plc, Nestle Plc, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye OON (right) during an Ogun State Investors’ Forum at DLK Event Centre, Abeokuta on Monday, March 26, 2012.

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (3rd right), First Lady of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun (left), former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba (2nd left), Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa (3nd left), Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson (2nd right) and Chairman, Lafarge WAPCO Plc, Nestle Plc, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye OON (right) during an Ogun State Investors’ Forum at DLK Event Centre, Abeokuta on Monday, March 26, 2012.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right), former Prime Minister, Republic of Ireland, Mr. Bertie Ahern (middle) and Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (left) during an Ogun State Investors’ Forum at DLK Event Centre, Abeokuta on Monday, March 26, 2012

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd right) in a group photograph with his Ogun and Kaduna States counterparts, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (middle) and Mr. Patrick Yakowa (2nd left), Managing Director, Phillips Consulting, Mr. Foluso Phillips (left), Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka (3rd left), former Prime Minister, Republic of Ireland, Mr. Bertie Ahern (3rd right), Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson (right) during an Ogun State Investors’ Forum at DLK Event Centre, Abeokuta on Monday, March 26, 2012.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd right) in a group photograph with his Ogun counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (2nd left), Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka (left), former Prime Minister, Republic of Ireland, Mr. Bertie Ahern (middle)and Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson (right) during an Ogun State Investors’ Forum at DLK Event Centre, Abeokuta on Monday, March 26, 2012.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Twelve members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State escaped death

Twelve members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State escaped death following a motor accident on their way back from the National Convention of the Party in Abuja.

The motor accident, which occurred at about 5pm on Sunday along the Patani axis of the East/West road, led to
huge vehicular traffic due to the multiple summersaults of the commercial bus
conveying them took before landing in a ditch.

Eyewitnes told our correspondent in Yenagoa Oyins Egrenbido that the PDP leaders, that participated in the National Convention were rescued by sympathizers and rushed to various specialist hospitals accross the state.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Darniel Iworiso-Markson who confirmed the development  stated that the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters,Chief Fred Agbedi has visited the victims of the accident at the various hospitals.

Mr. Terrence McCulley, US Ambassador Visit NDDC Managing Director

NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh exchanging pleasantries with Mr. Terrence McCulley, US Ambassador to Nigeria during a visit in Port Harcourt recently. 

FASHOLA CONDOLES WITH SENATOR AFIKUYOMI OVER DEATH OF FATHER



Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), at the weekend condoled with former Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi over the passage of his father, Deacon Afolabi Afikuyomi.
In a letter of condolence to the former Commissioner, Governor Fashola, who described Deacon Afikuyomi as a great role model, noted that the impact of the late Christian Missionary could be visibly seen in the accomplishments of his son who has served as a distinguished public officer at both the State and National levels.
According to Governor Fashola, “Our State and country owe a great deal of gratitude to your beloved father for the service which you have rendered and continue to render to our society”, adding that the service would continue to stand as legacy bestowed on the State and the country by the departed Pa Afikuyomi.
“There are no words I can offer that will make the loss of a doting father, to whom you were quite close, any easier. But, hopefully, just knowing that my thoughts are with you and members of the family at this moment of sorrow could bring some relief to you”, the Governor said.
He prayed that the Almighty God would grant the soul of Pa Afikuyomi sweet repose while also asking God to imbue the Senator and other members of the Afikuyomi Family with the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
SIGNED:
HAKEEM BELLO
SPECIAL ADVISER ON MEDIA

Friday, 23 March 2012

13 Per Cent Derivation Funds

government to ensure that 13% derivation fund is paid to all states producing mineral resources and not on oil alone.
 
Senator Enang made the appeal against the backdrop of the call by Northern elite for the abolition of 13% being paid to oil producing states in the Niger Delta for oil productions.
 
The lawmaker spoke while playing host to Law students from Akwa Ibom state who paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.
 
He said that the constitution did not stipulate that derivation funds be paid to oil producing states alone but any state that produces mineral resources for the benefit of the entire Nigeria.
 
Senator Ita Enang however appealed to the federal government to commence exploration of different mineral resources domicile in different states for even development of all states in the country.

WORLD WATER DAY


President Goodluck Jonathan's determination to make potable water available to the generality of Nigerians has been reiterated by the Plateau State Commissioner for Water and Rural Development, Idi Waziri.

Idi Waziri spoke in Jos at an event to mark the 2012 World Water Day.



Idi Waziri also assured that the one of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals to make potable water available to the people will be attained before 2015.


The Commissioner said much must be done to reduce wastage of potable water as the population of the world increases putting a further strain on available water.



The theme of this year's Water Day is ''Water and Food Security'' and Mr. Waziri also highlighted the importance of water to agriculture.


The International World Water Day is observed every 22nd March and it was first observed in 1993 after the UN General Assembly had recognized its observance in 1992.

FIRE AT NASS

The second floor of the National Assembly Annex building  was this afternoon gutted by fire.

Fire broke out on the second floor of the  building which houses the Legal and Accounts departments of the National Assembly Service Commission.

In an effort to quickly put out the fire, the Federal Capital Territory Fire Service deployed two fire engines to bring the fire under control before it spreads to other offices even as panic-stricken staff vacated the building for safety.

Speaking on the incidence, Director of FCT Fire Service, Sani Saidu told newsmen that the fire incident was caused by power outage as a result of power fluctuation, assuring that no damage was done.

Correspondent Tijani Yinusa reports  that a similar fire incident occurred last year December at the office the Clerk of the National Assembly  which was attributed to electrical fault.

The National Assembly management is yet to issue official statement on the cause of the latest fire incident. 

Labour Organizes Rally For Adams Oshiomhole

 A cross section of members of the organised labour at a rally organised for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor, by the NLC and TUC in Benin City. 

From left: Comrade Peter Esele, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC); Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor at a rally Comrade Oshiomhole by the NLC and TUC in Benin City 

From left: Comrade Peter Esele, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC); Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC); Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor and Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, former President, Nigeria Labour Congress at a rally Comrade Oshiomhole by the NLC and TUC in Benin City 

A cross section of members of the organised labour at a rally organised for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor, by the NLC and TUC in Benin City.

ECOWAS CALLS FOR REGIONAL STRATEGIES TO TACKLE ORGANIZED TRANSNATIONAL CRIMES


ECOWAS CALLS FOR REGIONAL STRATEGIES TO TACKLE ORGANIZED TRANSNATIONAL CRIMES
ECOWAS has urged police chiefs in Member States to develop regional strategies and synergy in tackling the myriad organized transnational crimes confronting West Africa, especially illegal circulation of weapons, piracy and terrorism.

Welcoming participants to the opening of a three-day meeting of Technical Sub-Committees of the West Africa Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) in Lome, Togo on Wednesday, 21st March 2012, Lt-Col. Abdulrahaman Dieng, Head of the ECOWAS Regional Security Division, said the conflict in Libya has unleashed serious security problems with dire consequences on peace, stability and economic development of the region.

Speaking on behalf of Major General Charles Okae, Director, Peacekeeping and Regional Security, Col. Dieng said the region’s previously uninhabited Sahelian belt had become a centre of conflict with the activities of separatist AZAWAD movement in northern Mali, Al-Qaeda of Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, posing serious security challenges requiring urgent attention.

Also of serious security concern, he said, are the region’s porous borders and the attendant vehicle thefts, drug and human trafficking as well as corruption, bad governance and poor management of human and natural resources.

Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea should also engage the attention of the regional police chiefs, said Col. Dieng, who reaffirmed the commitment of ECOWAS to take all necessary measures, including support for police and other security agencies of Member States in the collective effort at addressing the regional security challenges.

He noted that the meeting is the first under Cote d’Ivoire as the new Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government and with a new management team at the Commission led by His Excellency, President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo.

INTERPOL Representative, Mr. Juan Carlos Antoniassi, also pledged his organization’s continued collaboration with stakeholders towards making the region safe and stable.

He called for the availability of more human and financial resources as well as adequate training of police personnel and follow-up actions to deal with transnational crimes not just in West Africa, but Africa as a whole.

Mr. Antoniassi also recommended that all segments of the police force and not just the leadership should be sensitized for active involvement in the regional anti-crime operations.

Declaring the meeting open, the Director General of Togo’s National Police, Col. Mompion Mateindou, challenged the regional police chiefs to come up with appropriate responses to the regional security threats, including cyber crimes, adding that the task of providing safe economic environment and ensuring regional stability called for concerted efforts since no country can do it alone.

In their recommendations to higher authorities, he said the technical sub-committees should take into account the situation in each Member State with a view to developing a regional framework on the way forward.

The meeting, the first of two preparatory meetings before the WAPCCO General Assembly, is being attended by representatives of ECOWAS Member States and officials of the ECOWAS Commission.

Participants are discussing challenges of policing in West Africa, including Crime Trends, Joint or Simultaneous Police Operations and Joint Operations on Drug, as well as implementation of recommendations of the INTERPOL international and regional meetings by West African countries.

The outcome of the meeting will feed into the second preparatory meeting of the sub-technical committees ahead of the WAPCCO Annual General Assembly.

JONATHAN CONDEMNS MALI COUP

President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the coup in Mali today which dethroned the Malian president one month to scheduled national elections.

The President, who expressed displeasure and dismay over the action of the renegade troops, described the move as “an apparent setback to the consolidation of democracy in Mali in particular and the African continent in general.” 

A press released signed by the President’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, said Mr. Jonathan warned the coup plotters to allow the ongoing democratic process in the country to run its full course and not to do anything that would truncate the electoral process especially the presidential election slated for next month.

President Jonathan, who also cautioned against the shedding of blood and unnecessary destruction of property of the citizens and foreigners resident in Mali, stressed that the coup plotters have only embarked on a fruitless mission of supplanting a constitutional government by other means which goes against the current global grain of constitutionalism. 

Emphasising that the Nigerian Government would never recognize any unconstitutional regime, the President further urged all well-meaning governments in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to roundly condemn the obvious coup d’├ętat in Bamako and demand an immediate reinstatement of the government of President Toure and the continuation of the current electoral process.

PICTURES: GOV. FASHOLA AT MAIDEN EDITION OF LAGOS STATE CORPORATE ASSEMBLY

Cross section of corporate leaders and other stakeholders during the Maiden Edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged, “BRF Meets Business” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the State House, Marina, Lagos, on Thursday, March 22, 2012. 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle) with the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Goodie Ibru (right) and the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu (left) during the Maiden Edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged, “BRF Meets Business” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the State House, Marina, Lagos, on Thursday, March 22, 2012. 

Cross section of corporate leaders and other stakeholders during the Maiden Edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged, “BRF Meets Business” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the State House, Marina, Lagos, on Thursday, March 22, 2012. 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) addressing corporate leaders and other stakeholders during the Maiden Edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged, “BRF Meets Business” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the State House, Marina, Lagos, on Thursday, March 22, 2012. 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle) flanked by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu (left) and the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Goodie Ibru (right) during the Maiden Edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged, “BRF Meets Business” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the State House, Marina, Lagos on Thursday, March 22, 2012. 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd left) addressing corporate leaders and other stakeholders during the Maiden Edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged, “BRF Meets Business” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the State House, Marina, Lagos, on Thursday, March 22, 2012. With him are: Former Minister of Industry and Vice President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande (left), Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) with the former Minister of Industry and Vice President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande (left) during the Maiden Edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged, “BRF Meets Business” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the State House, Marina, Lagos, on Thursday, March 22, 2012. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

MTN SMEs' Proposition

Breakfast Time

Breakfast Time

Mr Alaxander Ibehre Senior Manager Brand @ Communications MTN taking the Welcome Address.

Barbara Anozie, Senior Manager Small Medium Enterprise Segment Management MTN Nigeria addressing participants.

Participants @ The Event

Participants @ The Event

Participants @ The Event

Group Photo Session

Group Photo Session

Participants @ The Event 

Barbara Anozie, Senior Manager Small Medium Enterprise Segment Management MTN Nigeria answering question from journalist.

Man Must Wack!!!!!

Man Must Wack!!!!!

LAGOS SET TO PROSECUTE TAX EVADERS


LAGOS SET TO PROSECUTE TAX EVADERS
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday read the riot act to all the 5.3milion tax evading adults in the State that it has commenced enforcement of all applicable tax laws to ensure that such people fulfill their social responsibility to the State.
This was stated at an inter- ministerial Press Conference on Tax Compliance held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre at the Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja which involved the Special Adviser to the Governor on Revenue and Taxation, Mr Abimbola Shodipo, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaiye,the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Tokunbo Abiru, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Toyin Ayinde and Chairman of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service, Mr Tunde Fowler.
Addressing newsmen at the briefing, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation, Mr Abimbola Shodipo said out of the 20 million people resident in the state, eight million are engaged in one form of productive activity or the other but only 2.7 million of that number currently pay their taxes.
Mr Shodipo added that the State Government has been engaging in advocacy, enlightenment and persuasion but has not achieved a 100 percent tax payment target from those expected to pay.
He added that the State Government will embark upon various enforcement measures such as levying of distrainment and will not accept pleas of waivers for concession on penalties for evaders.
He said by virtue of the social contract entered into by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) when he assumed office, both the government and citizens have obligations to fulfill.
The Lagos State Government, he noted,  has an economic thrust that is premised on poverty eradication and sustainable economic growth through infrastructural renewal and development.
Mr Shodipo explained that at the last State Tenders Board retreat meeting, a total of 156 projects were unloaded across several sectors like roads construction, agriculture, environment, housing and security and this has led to contractors engagement, job creation with multiplier effect and infrastructural renewal as well as security.
He said all the lofty projects will remain mere intents without the necessary funds to actualize the various projects, stating that the main challenge to implementing projects is paucity of funds.
He said now is the time for Lagos to take a step further in its distinction of not being a rent seeking economy and deepen its position as a fiscally disciplined economy, adding that all this while the major compliers with tax payment have been corporate organizations and the civil service with the larger number of people in the informal sector not complying.
The Special Adviser said it will be sheer irresponsibility for the State Government to continue to look away while the minority 2.7million people use their taxes to sustain 5.3 non-paying residents of Lagos State, adding that such people will no longer be tolerated in Lagos anymore.
Also speaking at the briefing, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaiye who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant on Justice, Mr Lanre Akinsola said it is an offence for any tax paying adult not to pay tax or violate the provision of applicable tax laws.
Mr Ade Ipaiye stated that the State will commence the prosecution of all tax defaulters and tax evaders, adding that ignorance of the existence of the law is not an excuse.
He informed that the Attorney General of the Federation has given his Lagos State counterpart, Mr Ade Ipaiye the fiat to prosecute tax offenders under the provisions of the Personal Income Tax as amended just as the State Attorney General will also enforce the provisions of the Revenue Administration Law of Lagos State.  
He said it negates the principle of equity if every citizen and every tax payer is not treated equally; adding that if out of eight million taxable adults only 2.7million are paying their taxes, such taxation system is not equitable.
He said under the law, it is now an offence to fail to file tax return for a preceding year by the 31 March of the following year as provided for in the Personal Income Tax as amended just as it is also a criminal offence not to deduct or deduct and refuse to remit deducted taxes to applicable internal revenue service.
In his own submission, the Chairman of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler warned that with the provisions in the Personal Income Tax Law as amended, most States may be close to bankruptcy.
He said with the new provisions of the law, every state may experience a reduction of over 50 percent in the revenue accruable to them from all sectors of the economy, adding that this calls for action from all concerned.
He explained that the new PITA law provides that for any employee who earn about N305,000 per annum, he pays one percent of that amount as tax and that means a reduction of what normally comes into the coffers of the States.
He said the informal sector which has not been forthcoming in payment of taxes can be divided into two with the first group made up of traders, market men and women  and taxi drivers always paying their taxes regularly into the coffers of the State Government.
He reiterated that the other group is made up professionals in the informal sector who are supposed to be better informed, adding that through an arrangement which the LIRS had with the Ministry of Transportation to ensure that vehicles owners that are contravened for traffic offences are also asked to show their proof of tax compliance, over 10, 000 owners of cars arrested did not pay their taxes.
He said this becomes worrisome that these set of people who are definitely in the middle income class can afford to buy cars but are not willing to pay their taxes adding that this is one of the reasons why the government has decided to embark on enforcement of the law against evaders.
He informed that in Year 2010. A total of 340 companies were stopped from doing businesses for not paying their taxes and they paid a total sum of N952million as taxes into the coffers of the State Government afterwards, adding that in 2011, a total of 270 companies which did not pay their taxes were stopped and paid a sum of N382million into the State coffers which shows an improvement.
Mr Fowler said the State Government has also made the administration of the taxes very convenient for the tax payers so that they would not have any excuse.
Also speaking the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Tokunbo Abiru said it was very commendable that Lagos State’s reliance on the federation account has dropped significantly over the years, adding that the credit for this feat is traceable to tax payers.
“Lagos is the first to implement the minimum wage even before the Federal Government which initiated the programme, adding that this calls for an encouragement of those who are paying now while no effort should be spared to bring into the tax net those who are not paying .
He said the State Government has also ensured that it is judiciously utilizing the proceeds of the internally generated revenues, informing that Lagos spends less than 30percent of its budget on personnel cost which make the state very self reliant.
He appealed to those who have not been captured in the tax net to endeavour to become tax compliant so as to widen the tax net else the government might be forced to apply the full weight of the law.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Toyin Ayinde who also spoke said there over 600 citizens with applications for building approvals with the Ministry that are yet to be approved because such people are defaulting in their tax payments.
Mr Ayinde also said the Ministry will publish names of defaulting citizens of Lagos State with pending building approvals so that they can come up and resolve their issues with the Ministries to perfect their title documents rather than giving the impression that the process is slow.
The representatives of the National Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA), Mr Timothy Olawale thanked the State Government for acknowledging the near total compliance of members of NECA to tax payment in the State, saying the body looks forward to more collaboration.
He also urged the State Government to ensure that it deepens its capacity to capture such people who are basically in the informal sector in the tax net.
Mr Niran Ade Onajobi who represented the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria while speaking said MAN will continue to encourage its members to support the State Government by paying its taxes regularly because of the judicious application of such taxes by the State Government.
Among the top government functionaries who attended the press conference were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, Special Adviser to the Governor of Media, Mr Hakeem Bello, Special Adviser on Economic Planning and Budget, Mrs Iyabo Aluko, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs Yetunde  Ajayi and Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola.
SIGNED
HAKEEM BELLO
SPECIAL ADVISER TO H.E ON MEDIA