Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has urged sons and daughters of the soil working in other states but with residences in Anambra to remit their taxes to the state government to enable the administration to deliver better social services to the people.
“Wherever you live, Onye Anambra (Anambra people), pay your fair share. That is how it works everywhere,” Soludo said on Thursday when he presented the state’s 2023 Budget Estimates of about N260bn to the State House of Assembly in Awka, the state capital.
He lamented the poor tax payment culture in Nigeria, saying Anambra is perhaps one of the states in the country with very poor tax revenue.
“Anambra State is probably one of the worst in Nigeria with estimated income or GDP (Gross Domestic Product) or about N5.5tn, our projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for 2023 is just a paltry N48bn.
“Anambra is probably one of the states with the least tax revenue in the world. For comparison, Lagos State projects to generate N1.1tn from IGR in 2023 coming to almost N100bn a month…Anambra’s IGR for 2023 will be barely 4.4% of Lagos State IGR,” he said.
The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said now that oil money is on its way out, and Nigeria increasingly has little choice but to rely on taxes to provide services to its citizens, there is a need for people to understand that payment of tax is a civic duty.
“With our people scattered all over the world but with dual residences, the permanent home addresses in Anambra, and expecting the government to protect those assets at home and provide infrastructure to access them, what would be our civic duties to our homeland?” he asked.
Soludo assured the indigenes of the state both resident and non-residents that every tax revenue entrusted to his administration will be fully accounted for.
The christened Budget of Acceleration has a capital budget of N164.2bn accounting for 63 2%, a recurrent expenditure of N95.5bn which accounts for 36.8%, and a deficit of N13bn.