Let me start this article with a famous clause from president Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration speech that highlights his personality to this present moment- “I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody” I started with words bearing in mind the sensitivity of the understated discussion.
I will try not to be a revisionist but ongoing political propaganda going around to discredit the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that he can not be credited with the tax reform achieved by Lagos state need to be addressed.
I believe no human, living or dead can write the success story of the Lagos Tax Reform without the majority of the credits falling back to the man who fought many battles in court to ensure Lagos Internal Revenues Service (LIRS) became a reality in 2005, ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU.
The antiquated laws of the country placed the Board of Internal Revenue under the control of the federal government and it was almost impossible for States to levy additional taxes on the citizens.
Tinubu broke that jinx by establishing the first autonomous state-level tax collection agency in Nigeria in 2005 by engaging British and Nigerian experts to draft acceptable legislation to set up the office.
The professionalization of the tax collection system in Lagos began in 2001 when the old method of manual collection, which reeks of lack of transparency and thus lack of confidence from the able-but-unwilling teeming population, was replaced with an automated payment system.
He went on an unprecedented confidence-building campaign to bring more taxpayers into the pool with several awarenesses going on on radios, televisions, newspapers, billboards, etc. A customer care service accompanied this process to instill confidence in the citizens.
How on earth can you credit someone from the federal government who sampled LIRS’s automation system with the reform of the tax system in the same Lagos? Why do we have so many governors copying the Lagos template to generate tax in their states even after 15 years?
Alpha Beta has been engaged by over 15 states in Nigeria and even outside the country. The myth surrounding it is pushed by ignorant ones who do not believe private organizations can work with the government while maintaining their self-integrity
Propaganda is part of political campaigns but with Nigeria at this critical stage, the 2023 campaign will not be used by propagandists like you nor are we going to allow you to change history for us. We will be here.