With a population of about 22 million people, only 700,000 people are active tax payers in Lagos State, a top government official said.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Samuel Egube, said of the 22 million, only 4.8 million Lagosians were registered as tax payers.
He spoke at the Lagos Central Senatorial District 2020 Budget Consultative Forum held at Surulere.
As a result of the unimpressive record, he said the state government would embark on aggressive expansion of the tax net by engaging and encouraging the citizens to perform their tax obligations.
“The more taxes we are able to collect, the more we are able to do, the more we are able to support small businesses, create and facilitate businesses, put the infrastructure in place that will be able to attract more investments and create jobs and do many other things.
“It is important that as we want to get Lagos greater, we want citizens to participate in governance and also pay their contributions,’’ Egube said.
Egube promised that the 2020 budget would be based on the six developmental pillars of the government as captured in the ‘T.H.E.M.E.S’ agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
While assuring that the administration will complete all inherited on-going projects, he said the administration’s dream of a greater Lagos will be realized through engagement and participation of the citizens.
Egube said the focus of the budget will be woven around the present administration’s advocacy for an inclusive government that will run under the policy thrust based on the ‘THEMES’ agenda.
“Which are: Traffic management and transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st-century economy, Entertainment and Tourism, Security and governance.
“The Y2020 budget is being designed to be people-oriented in order to ensure a Lagos that works for all irrespective of age, gender, tribe or status.”
Egube said the government must grow the GDP at a rate faster than the ever-increasing population of the state and that while the state will deploy debt profile focus on capital expenses it would also ensure that at least 55 per cent of the budget will be on investment in capital expenditure.
He decried the lack of support by the government in the entertainment and tourism sector, saying every achievement recorded there has been on private initiative.
“The government is going to actively support that sector, it is our view that the government must act to support the sector this time around”, Egube said.
The budget consultative forum will hold in the three senatorial districts as part of efforts to give the people opportunity to participate in the budget process.