Oba-elect of Ilara-Epe, Prince Folarin Ogunsanwo, has explained why people hardly payed taxes in Nigeria because the money realized were not use for the purpose it’s meant for.
Speaking at the Summit organised by J9Collective with the theme, “The Tax Debate: For Young Business to Grow;Established Firms to Survive “, Prince Ogunsanwo said more people will be willing to pay if the money realized were judiciously used.
“In a saner climes the wife of the President or son/daughter can’t just pick the presidential jet to attend parties, something that’s meant for official duty, head will roll. But here in Nigeria, there is a lot of impunity.” He said.
On the need to create more awareness to sensitize the taxpayers of their civic duties , he said; “When I was in charge in Lagos , I tried to arrange the tax forms in different languages so that people can pick the form and fill without much ado, but I think we need to do much more to create awareness.”
Speaking earlier during the presentation of his paper, Prince Ogunsanwo said small and medium scale SMEs, according to Bureau of Statistics accounted for 97% of productive unit of the economy in Nigeria.
He, however , maintains that the SMEs remains a critical sectors in economic development of any nation but double taxation in the first three years in Nigeria has always been a threat to the sustainability of the SMEs.
Ogunsanwo, who was the former chairman of Lagos Island Revenue Services, LIRS, however, said that for the SMEs to thrive, there is need to create a favorable business and regulatory environment, while conscious efforts should be invested in improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria, so that Nigerian businesses can be competitive in the short term and sustainable in long term.
“The significance of contribution of SMEs to economic growth is seen more in the developed climes where their potentials have been successful harnessed. For instance, SMES accounted for about 20% of patents (a measure of innovation) , in biotechnology related fields In Europe in 2014. SMEs are also known to account for over 25% of businesses, 60-70% of employment, 55% of gross domestic product (GDP) and generate the lion’s share of new employment.” He said.
Welcoming the guests, Loye Amzat, the Publisher of the News of The People Magazine, who stood in for J9C Captain,
Akin Adeoya, who was unavoidable absent, said the J9C was a child of necessity which was birthed after the 2012 fuel protests across Nigeria.
He says the Group came together to serve as a catalyst for the improvement of the economy through its annual summit to set agenda for the policy makers in Nigeria.