Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described the data churned out by the Federal Ministry of Finance, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as regards to the contributions of the state to Value Added Tax (VAT) as misrepresentative.
He said the claim that Kano, Oyo and Osun States, among other states, contributed more than Ogun State could not be true, as Ogun has the highest number of industries in the country, noting that the only state that surpasses his state is Lagos.
The governor added that with the pace of development and new investors setting up industries in the state, Ogun might match Lagos in the foreseeable future and possibly surpass it in terms of its contributions to the Federation Account.
The governor said it was unfortunate that his state was ranked in the 26th position by the NBS among other states in the country in terms of its contribution to VAT and that this misinformation provided by the finance ministry has formed the basis for the sharing of the tax derivable from the consumption of goods and services (VAT) among the 36 states of the federation.
The governor, who was speaking during a facility tour of an indigenous armoured vehicles manufacturing company situated in Ode-Remo area of the state, said the anomaly needed to be corrected because the industries in Ogun State put pressure on the infrastructure in the state, yet it gets a fraction of its actual contribution to VAT at the Federal Account Allocation Committee every month.
Amosun also faulted the presentation by the federal government agencies that of the 914 high net worth individuals and entities paying tax to the federal purse, only two are from Ogun State.
“Not less than 45 high net worth individuals in the state pay at least N10 million as tax to the federal purse, three pay at least N20 million and above, while one pays N40 million and above” he said, and urged the agencies to cross-check their data.
The governor added that such inaccurate data was unacceptable, especially if multilateral agencies like the World Bank could provide more accurate statistics about the state.
The Ogun governor went on to challenge the data-generating agencies to be transparent on the company income tax (CIT) paid by companies in the country, adding that since his state hosts several industries, it should also have a high ranking in terms of its contribution to CIT paid to the FIRS annually.
Amosun also frowned upon companies that manufacture products in the state, but inscribed “Made in Lagos” on them just because they have their head offices or are registered in Lagos, adding said such practices must stop henceforth.
He further revealed that the state would immediately place orders for three armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and three gunboats from the armoured vehicle manufacturing company to step up security in the state.
According to him, the APCs will be distributed across the three senatorial districts in the state, while the gunboats will be used in the riverine and the waterways of the state.