Posted by News Express | 29 January 2015 | 2,705 times
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday described Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in the state, Jimi Agbaje, as a serial tax evader, urging Lagosians to refrain from voting for him.
Fashola, who spoke at the eight Annual Lagos State Taxation Stakeholders’ Conference in Ikeja, noted that it was irresponsible for any politician seeking public office to be evading tax and still claim to be a law-abiding citizen.
According to Fashola, “All those who have paid their taxes have shown they are lawful citizens. And anyone who has failed to pay tax is a bad citizen. He is also a cheat; such person benefits from the commonwealth of roads, hospitals and other facilities provided by funds generated from taxes paid by residents. Land Use charge is ground rent and tenement rate; they are 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 you vote for. You will remember that in 2007, Jimi Agbaje claimed 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 advise that you avoid deception and tax evader.”
Fashola said that while it is illegal not to pay tax, politicians seeking public office would be breaking the law also 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 chosen to start. It showed that they will always be behind ours.”
Adapted from National Mirror
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