January 28, 2015 – Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola today alleged that the governorship candidate of the People’s Democracy Party (PDP) Mr. Jimi Agbaje has evaded tax for a period of four years, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Fashola who spoke at the 8th Annual Lagos State Taxation Stakeholders’ Conference in Ikeja said the politician paid his Land Use Charge only in 2013 and 2014 when it became clear to him that he would contesting the 2015 general elections.
“All those who have paid their taxes have shown that they are lawful citizens. And anyone who has failed to pay tax is a bad citizen. He is also a cheat; such person benefit from the commonwealth-the roads, hospitals and other facilities provided by funds generated from taxes paid by the residents. Land use charge is grand rent and tenement rate; they were consolidated.
“I know that you have to vote next month but look at that candidate that would need to take over from me. And be careful of who to vote for. You will remember that in 2007, that Jimi Agbaje claimed that he was in Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA) and later crossed to PDP.
“You know that he manages a pharmacy called Jaykay Pharmacy, located at 9, Randle close Apapa. His pharmacy has not paid land Use Charge for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.They paid in 2013 and 2014 because they discovered that the election would be holding in 2015. His pharmacy owes this state N1, 629, 064.62.
“Let us do that mathematic to see how many facilities that funds would have provided in our hospitals and stationary in our schools. But this was the same person who was complaining that the state government spent three percent of its budget on education. Local Government is responsible for the management of the primary schools and yet he has withheld their taxes.
“This is the man who wants to be your next governor. And I will advice you that you avoid deception and tax evader.”
Fashola emphasized that while it is illegal not to pay tax, politicians seeking public office will be breaking the law when they tell residents not to pay tax.
He explained that the reduction in the number of residents prosecuted for tax evasion showed that residents now pay their taxes voluntarily.
“It shows that the message and our prophecy seven years ago have come to fruition. When our opponent complained that the state government was imposing more taxes on the residents but they have forgotten that they enacted that law.
“Where we were years ago was where the central Government had chose to start. It showed that they will always be behind ours.”
He pointed out that Payment of tax is the first principle of the social contracts between the government and the citizens, adding that a breach of this responsibility is a criminal offence under the nation’s law.
“ Anyone who advocates the non-payment of taxes is as guilty as tax evader itself. It is prescribed by the 1999 constitution in section 24f. And it states that it shall be the duty of every citizen to declare its income to the appropriate and lawful agency; and pay it promptly.”