Lagos State Government yesterday urged hoteliers and event centres’ owners to embrace the new tax payment system.
The government made the call during the launch of a new regulation for the fiscalisation of the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Tax Law, and charged stakeholders in the hospitality industry to embrace the initiative designed to put efficient machinery in place to enhance collection process and ensure compliance.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, to sensitise owners of hotels, restaurants, bars and event centres in the state on the new regulation, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said automation of the system was introduced to address the high level of under-payment and non-remittance of what is due to government. He, however assured it would be a win-win situation for all parties.
Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said it is important for stakeholders to play their part in scaling up taxation, being one of the ways government is able to fund its activities and implement projects and policies for the overall benefit of the people.
“As progressive partners in the development of our state, we solicit your co-operation and support at actualising this noble initiative.
“All hoteliers, event centre proprietors, restaurant and bar owners must allow the integration of their systems along with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) server to facilitate the monitoring of consumption tax transactions and remittance of same to the state.
“We must be alive to our responsibilities by paying taxes to ensure the development of our state,” he said.
The governor said since his assumption of office, conscious efforts have been made to invest in infrastructure, and that more funds were required to enable government actualise the objective of providing adequate infrastructure and services for residents, a development he said necessitated the need to embrace the fiscalisation of the consumption tax regime.
He said despite harsh economy, the 2017 budget of the state performed at 82 percent with N503.7 billion total generated revenue representing 78 percent performance, while total recurrent expenditure stood at N281.33 billion representing 72 percent and N387.60 billion capital expenditure representing 76 percent performance.
He said though a lot was achieved in that regard last year, to enable the government achieve the target for 2018, the commitment of residents and business owners is necessary, especially in payment of their taxes.
Besides, the governor said the LIRS has been mandated to work with the office of the Attorney General to ensure tax defaulters are brought to book.
Earlier, LIRS Chairman, Mr. Ayo Subair, said the deployment of the fiscalisation system in the hospitality sector is a further demonstration of the resolve of the government to embrace global best practices in its administration of the state.
He said under the new regime, all the collecting agents would benefit from the high level of transparency the system will bring to their operations in respect of recording of sales as they will have access to all transactions as they occur, irrespective of their locations.
Also, Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, said despite the improvement in the ease of doing business ranking, Nigeria is still behind in tax payment ranking, a development he said brought about the new fiscalisation regulation.