Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has disclosed that the state has no reason to be poor if its people inculcate the culture of tax payment.
He added that with the right revenue drive and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about 2.44 trillion, Osun should be a rich and prosperous state in the federation.
This is just as the governor charged the entire civil service of the state to help the government promote the culture of tax payment among the people of Osun.
He stated these on Wednesday during an interactive session he held with Permanent Secretaries, Directors, General Managers and Executive Secretaries of government agencies and parastatals at the government secretariat.
Aregbesola who decried the poor economic nature of Osun despite its huge GDP which he said is more than that of some African countries called for a change in attitude to tax payment in the state.
While calling on the civil service not to be careless of the fact that it is only public servants that pay their tax adequately, the governor stressed that the state will only be encouraging poverty if it continues that way.
The Governor further charged the state civil service to let the people understand and embrace the culture of tax payment, saying they have nowhere to call their own apart from Osun, hence the need to join hands in developing it is quintessential.
He held that the only thing that will make him feel comfortable even after leaving office is when he is rest assured that the civil service has keyed into the idea of assisting the government to generate revenue through taxation.
Aregbesola maintained that the time has come for public servants to begin to see themselves as those whose on shoulders lie the responsibility to drive the state forward through revenue generation which can only be gotten from the people.
The Governor who noted that the height which every indigene of Osun wants the state to attain in the next ten or twenty years will be a mirage if the civil service does not assist the government in changing the orientation of the people towards tax payment.
The state helmsman expressed the believe that the people of the state are no more in doubt that the government can give them what they want, stressing that this should be used as a basis to rekindle the poor attitude of the people to tax payment.
According to Aregbesola, “If a territory or space like Osun can produce goods and services worth 2.44 trillion naira, then we have no reason to be poor. But it’s a pity that we can’t hide our faces from the fact that we are poor and this is because our revenue generation is so poor.
“Some African countries that have presidents don’t have that much of GDP as Osun and it’s saddening that we still find ourselves in this economic mess because our attitude to tax payment is poor and we are directly at fault for it.
“I want to tell you that if we continue like this then we are encouraging poverty, you public servants should begin to worry that it is only you who pay tax, it should interest you as public servants to ensure that every taxable adult in Osun pay their taxes.
“If we don’t quickly do something about our revenue generation, the dream of a better Osun that will be the cynosure of all eyes might painfully be a mirage, I came to Osun to become governor because I am from this state and I want it to develop. I want you too to begin to have the mindset that Osun must develop through you.