Osun Shuts OAU Over 1.8 Billion PAYE

By Sodiq Lawal The Osun State Internal Revenue Service has closed down the Obafemi Awolowo University OAU, Ile-Ife over an alleged non-payment of taxes.

The official of IRS arrived the campus exactly 7:00am. Our correspondent gathered that officials of the revenue agency swooped on the university and sealed the Senate building, the administrative block and the bursary,the main gate along read seven but the lecture rooms and hostels were said to have been left untouched by the tax collectors.

Confirming the closure, Mr Oladipo Babatunde who led the team confirmed the closure saying the institution owed the state government about N 1.8 billion.

It would be recalled that the state government had earlier issued seven days ultimatum to the companies that owed the state government.

Government Must Incorporate Informal Sector Into Tax Payment – OIRS

In order to put an end to the economic downturn facing the country presently, there is need for Osun state government to map out strategy which could be used to make informal workers pay taxes and other levies.

This was the view of Prince ‘Wole Adesanya, Commissioner for Informal Sector, Osun Internal Revenue Board, while delivering a public lecture on the topic: “The Impact of Informal Sector Taxes and Levies on the Development of State of Osun Economy” held at Teachers House, Estate in Osogbo the state capital.

Prince Adesanya, during the lecture organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (Osogbo and District Society), noted that revenues that accrue to the state government can be derived from two broad sources, namely external and internal sources.

He said the increasing cost of running, coupled with dwindling revenue has left various state governments with formation of strategies to improve their revenue base.

While emphasising on the need for the state and local governments to generate revenue from internal sources, the Commissioner said serious decline in the price of oil in recent years has led to the decrease in the funds available to government.

He noted that for the state to cope and meet its financial obligations there is need for it to map out strategies in which all the informal workers would be made to pay taxes and other levies.

According to him, workers in the informal sector in Nigeria are in vast majority of the entire population hence, the need for the government to look into how such large number of people would be made to perform their civic roles by paying all necessary dues.

He, therefore, charged informal workers to see payment of taxes and other levies as civic responsibilities, saying tax was the only alternative upon which the state can be transformed and made habitable for the people.

Adesanya however urged the state government to also redouble its efforts and increase awareness, monitoring and enforcement, saying informal sector has potential capacity to contribute substantially to the revenue base of the state.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Osogbo and District Society, Pastor. Kayode Adekunle said the lecture was timely, considering the current Nigeria’s economic quagmire which calls for immediate solution.

Describing the role of informal sector in the development of the state, Adekunle noted that the sectors are highly dynamic and contribute substantially to the general growth of the economy and personal or household income.

He said the institute organised the programme to mark his one year in office, saying the Institute had earlier visited Jaleyemi Hospital where the management of the hospital was educated on the need to cooperate with government of the state by paying relevant taxes and levies.

He also assured the government of the CITN support in bringing awareness to the door steps of every citizen of the state on the need to perform their civic responsibility especially in the area of payment of relevant taxes and levies.

Economic Development Levy, Tool To Boost IGR

By Babalola Wasiu

If we are to rate the level of tax compliance of the people,  especially taxable adult in the State of Osun, it is not an overstatement to say that the compliance is above average, as people are now being convinced of the significance of tax payment.

One of the most functioning tools or the determinants of government achievements is the level of government financial ability to meet the yearnings of the citizenry which all depend on how diversified government is on revenue generation. And as means to revenue generation to the coffer of the state, one of the ways is the introduction of Economic Development Levy.

Economic Development Levy is one of the levies on the approved list of taxes and levies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette, 2015.

It was promulgated under the Jonathan’s Administration through the coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

The objective behind this is to enhance the revenue generation of each state of the federation in complementary to whatever comes from the federation account for each state to have ability to cater for the needs of the people.

Ever since 2015, immediately after the promulgation of this levy, some states of the federation have been on the close touch to the people in their various territories in implementing this levy.

Here in the State of Osun, the exact opposite is the case, as its implementation did not come, until the era of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, due to the passionate nature of the Governor and his believe in doctrine of consultation, rather than confrontation; liberal democracy, rather than being nepotistic as well as having a sense of collective responsibility rather than being coercive. This ideal held it back until 2017 after a due consultation has been established among the concerned stakeholders, including market men and women associations under Chief David Iyiola, Babaloja General and Chief Alhaja Awawu Asindemade (JP), Iyaloja General of Osun respectively; head of associations of different Artisans and above all; consultation with traditional institutions across the state.

This was done in line with the directive of Governor Aregbesola to give the payment of the levy the appropriate awareness despite its legal backing before its implementation in the state.

The implementation of the Economic Development Levy in the State is nothing, but to enable the government to be financially buoyant in providing qualitative services to the citizenry which would serve as a panacea to overcome the economic recession in the state. Besides this, its implementation in Osun would not only boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), but also avail job seekers employment opportunity, especially in the area of collection.

The rates are daily and weekly charged depending on the category of businesses. The analysis on the rates for all categories of businesses are: the motorcycles, tricycles and mini buses, popularly called “Korope” are paying N50 each on daily basis, market women and men on market days N50, while taxi and intra-state buses pays N100 per day, Tippers, trailers and other heavy duty trucks are also paying a sum of N200 each daily. And to crown it all, shops’ owners, stores, stall, kiosks and market traders, artisans, hawkers, night operators (i.e. Suya spots, Asun, Sharwama joints etc) and night food vendors are charged N100 weekly.

Residents of the state, especially market men and women, artisans as well as business men and women are therefore enjoined to live up to their civic responsibility on this clarion call to salvage the divine nature of Osun economy. Hence, the compliance with the payment schedule of Economic Development levy remains sacrosanct, being the only way to sustain the government efforts at turning around the economic fortune of the state.