On assumption of office in 2010, the present administration in the state blocked all the leakages that were existing in the state revenue which jacked up the state internally generated revenue from 300million naira to 1.6billion naira. The state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, stated this at the public presentation of the state of Osun Revenue Administration Law 2012, held at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Abere. In his speech titled: “Towards Greater Transparency in Revenue Management,” the Governor enjoined people of the state to expect more dividends of democracy if more money entered the government purse.
Governor Aregbesola ,who promised to put the state on the path of socio-economic development noted that with the population of 3.2 million in Osun, if 16 % of the population who are active youths of about 517,000 are working and realising N4 million income annually, it means N2.3 trillion will be circulating in the state economy, and if they pay 5 % tax, the state will generate over N10 billion monthly stressing that if the state has that in four years, even the people of Dubai will come and see wonders in Osun.
According to him, Osun which has the smallest economy about four years ago with N110 billion as GDP now has 738billion naira as its GDP, a development which he attributed to the administration’s commitment to develop the economy of the state stressing that the present administration is making the economy grow as nobody thought possible.
While lamenting the fact that a lot of people no longer want to work, the Governor explained that many people only want to go on consuming saying that without work one can not be rich, without being rich one can not be taxed and without being taxed it will be difficult for government to carry out the responsibility of providing infrastructure for the people.
He stated further that the only way to fund a modern government is to pay taxes.
Ogbeni Aregbesola said that he is ready to put the state on the map of development and called on the people to pay their taxes.
Earlier in their separate address, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Mr Ajibola Bashir and his counterpart in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Wale Bolorunduro said the law will bring efficiency to the tax system and engender development stressing that the state revenue service will be granted autonomy to perform their duties without interference.
Also speaking, the Acting Director of the state revenue service, Mr Dayo Oyebanji promised that tax cards would be issued to people while short messages service(sms) would be sent to them on monthly basis as from January next year to know their status.
While stressing that issue of multiple taxation will be checked ,he said the problem is a result of the communication gap between tax administrators and tax payers, saying that all payments of tax will be harmonised as soon as possible.
The law which has 83 sections was reviewed during the public presentation by Dr Oladoye Amokaye who is the Head of Department, Private and Property Law, University of Lagos where he advocated for accountability and transparency on the part of the revenue service so that people would have confidence in it.
It was passed last year by the State Assembly and singed into law on December 27, 2013. It empowers the state Internal Revenue Services (IRS )to fix the tax rate, collect and deposit taxes, seize or confiscate defaulters’ assets, arrest and prosecute, impose fines among others.
The law also established an Appeal Commission to entertain complaints on the administration of tax policies.