By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday paid his Land Use Charge, with an announcement that the State Government will no longer accept cash payment in revenue collection effective from March 1, 2018.
Speaking shortly after paying at Opebi branch of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) in the presence of top management staff of the bank, Governor Ambode said the measure was aimed at improving on service delivery to residents of the State and as well block all revenue leakages.
He said the transaction process in revenue collection has now been made easy for the people who, according to the Governor, can now pay every day, any time and online.
“In order to ensure that the government improves on the quality of service delivery to our people, effective from 1st March, 2018, no payment or taxes will be made by cash henceforth across the State.
“Tax payers should be able to pay all legitimate bills through all payment channels at their own time and convenience. The transaction process is now going to be every day, anytime and no weekends.
“We should be able to pay our taxes from any bank, any branch using webpay, paypoint and USSD, thereby encouraging mobile money without any contact with government officials. I repeat, every kobo counts; do not pay into wrong hands anymore,” Governor Ambode said.
He said in partnership with Interswitch Limited, all the multi-layer platforms would henceforth be deployed and used by all government Ministries, Agencies, Parastatals, Associated Companies and Units.
While explaining the rationale behind his decision to lead the payment of Land Use Charge, Governor Ambode said the State Government could not preach and promise prosperity without leading by example, just as he urged residents and all taxable adults to be faithful to their civic obligations.
He said: “Today, what we are doing is to back up our talk with our work. The State Government cannot be promising prosperity in the future without investing in the future. I have just invested my quota by paying my Land Use Charge and I ask all residents and citizens to join me by courageously making a decision for prosperity and pay all their due taxes.
“Just as I paid, instantly, I received my receipt as evidence of payment which shows that every kobo I have invested is going directly to the Lagos State Government account.
“Lagosians, with your full support, there is evidence that every kobo paid in taxes has been productively utilized in infrastructural renewal and development of this State in the last two and half years.
“It is my hope that we have gained your trust and confidence to move this State forward. For every one kobo you pay as taxes, we will give greater value and comfort to all citizens without anyone left behind.”
Besides, the Governor directed all the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the State to adjust their collection machineries to also eliminate all leakages.
“Finally, I appeal to all taxable adults to be patriotic in this crusade. That flyover or health centre is built from you taxes and contributions. The facility provided is for everybody irrespective of tribe, religion or creed. Let us show the rest of Nigerians what it is to be a proud Lagosian. Perform your civic duties, it is the right thing to do,” he said.