Operators of formal and informal businesses in Ikorodu division of Lagos State have resolved to work with the local government administrators to address complaints on taxation and improve the business environment.
Rising from the first session of the Community Business Assembly organized by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the UK DFID Growth and Employment in States project at the Ikorodu Local Government secretariat, delegates of private and public sector said dialogue was key to development.
Welcoming participants to the forum, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communities and Communications, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan said the platform was organized purposely to lessen the burden of tax compliance and encourage investment by the private sector to create jobs.
He said that with an improved tax system in which entrepreneurs know the rates to pay, there wold be less acrimony over taxation and the purpose to which taxes are applied. “It will also create additional jobs that will help reduce poverty in our various communities.” he said.
He therefore called on formal and informal business operators to ensure that whatever levies they pay, they should request for a receipt to show as evidence of payment so as to avoid double taxation.
During the event, the sole administrators in Ikorodu Division expressed support for the initiative pledging to sustain it to develop better rapport with tax payers and partner with the private sector.
Formal and informal businesses who were part of the event include Chamber of Commerce, Ikorodu Division, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Arise Women, Caterers, Vulcanizers, Cosmetologists, Barbers, Decorators and Community Development Committee.
In her remarks, the Director, Taxation and Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Anne Momodu, noted that her Ministry in conjunction with GEM 3 are giving technical assistance to improve processes, strengthen systems and develop specific capacity building programmes for the stakeholders.
She stated further that the Ministry also carryout sensitization programmes to enlighten all the small medium enterprise and other stakeholders on the need to verify the approved rates chargeable to them by the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas before payment so as to avoid multiple taxation.