A civil society organization, Save Lagos Group (SLG), has explained why Lagosians should cease to pay tax to Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s administration.
According to the group, the present government in Lagos does not deserve to collect any tax from indigenes and residents of the state because the governor had failed to adhere strictly with the provision of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) that stipulated the condition for the collection of taxes from the citizens.
The group also accused Ambode’s administration of failing to justify the huge amount of funds to the State has so far collected through taxes, federal allocation and other sources of funding.
It lamented the State government’s failure in the area of security; adding that the funds earmarked through Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) were not justifiably spent oing by the spate of insecurity in the state at present.
SLG stated this in a press release signed and issued by its Chief Convener, Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, copies of which was sent to Newsmen on Tuesday.
The group noted that the State government which failed to commiserate its obligations to the citizenry with the huge resources accrued to it, did not deserve to collect any tax from the citizens.
It maintained that it was Constitutional provision for the government to collect tax from the citizens in accordance with the section 24(f) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, however , supporting his argument with the Constitutional provisions of sections 14, 15, 16, 17,18,33,34 & fourth schedule of the amended 1999 Constitution where it enumerated the responsibilities of the State and local government areas to the citizenry in their areas.
The group added that until the State government under Ambode’s watch met these provisions of the Constitution, especially in the area of security; the citizens must not perform their obligation of payment of taxes.
the group further alleged that Ambode was ignorant of the law and has been working in contrary to the Constitutional seventh schedule Oath of allegiance/office of the Governor of a State which states that “government should be for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our State on the principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice and for the purpose of Consolidating the Unity of our people.”
According to SLG, “Lagos State in recent time has been facing challenges of insecurity where kidnapping, vandalism, infrastructural decadence and host of others were order of the day, upon all the tax payers’ money being claimed to be spent on the issue of security.
“The case of kidnapping of six student of Lagos State Model College at the Igbonla area of Epe is yet to be resolved by the State government and some others heinous crime.
“Introduction of exorbitant tax regime by the State government when the same government failed to perform its responsibilities as stipulated by the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is against the principle of justice, equity and egalitarian society.
“Some of the projects embarked upon were being used as conduit pipe to siphon the resources of the State into private purse of Ambode’s Godfather and few individuals. It is necessary for the Lagos State government to act according to the Law of the land by stopping anti-people policies of taxation. The government should be responsive and responsible by knowing that the country is currently experiencing recession in her economy.”