The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 10, Edo gubernatorial elections, Godwin Obaseki, has vowed to abolish all forms of extortion in the name of tax when voted into office. Obaseki made the declaration in an interactive session with members of the social-political group, Edo Mass Movement.
Obaseki expressed regret over the manner issues affecting taxation have been politicized noting that there is no double taxation in the state but extortion. According to him, the extortion is perpetrated by certain agencies, particularly those representing local governments.
“There is no double taxation. The problem is that local governments go around giving out consultancy jobs only for these people to turn it into extortion. It is not taxation but extortion. There is a difference between taxation and extortion. I don’t support extortion and I’m going to stop it”, he vowed.
Obaseki also emphasized that the real concern for now should be how to create a fair tax system because of the burden that exists from the fact that there is only a negligible percentage of taxpayers in the tax net. He promised that when voted into office his administration would create the enablement that will bring more tax payers into the tax net in order to reduce the burden on a few.
“What we should be talking about is fair tax because there is a burden of tax. This is because only 150,000 people, less than five percent of the population, pay taxes in the state. But we can reduce both the rate and burden by creating the enablement that will make more people earn more money. That is what we want to do if voted into office”, he explained.
Obaseki pointed out that tax is very important for every government because besides getting over 90 per cent of internally generated revenue from it, governments carry out their development responsibilities from it.
“Taxes makes up over 90 per cent of IGR which the state government depends on to provide development for the people. The truth is that there is need to make more people pay tax. However, we can only achieve that if the people earn money. When voted into office, our administration will create jobs for our youths and empower our women thereby boosting our local economy”, he emphasized.