Edo State government wants an expanded tax net to cope with salaries.
The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki on Monday disclosed that the state spends N40billion yearly in paying salaries and other emoluments.
“In the past, we used to get that amount from oil revenue and now, that amount will have to be paid by taxes from you. Therefore, should you not have an input? Should you not have a say? And that say, should it just be about criticizing the government?”, the governor remarked during a meeting with professional organisations in Benin.
Obaseki, while engaging the professionals in the state, solicited their collaboration with his administration to expand the state’s tax net to enable the government deliver on its mandate of making Edo great.
“For us as a government to continue to behave the way we used to behave before, when the circumstances that brought us into government are totally different; I think it will be grossly unfair to God and the people of Edo State. We are in government to serve you; we want you to join us and make Edo great again.
“So, without the commitment and collaboration of these different professional groups, there is not much that we can do because right now, we spend almost N40 billion a year in paying people’s salaries and all sources of emoluments.
“Truly speaking, if we do not build institutions, if we continue in the old ways, trying to build super stars and strong men, we will have no future, because these strong men will die, then what now happens?”, he said.
The governor further said, “the money is no longer there as it used to be. The money is with you; it is with us Nigerians. Nigerians have more money than Nigeria. It is the money of Nigerians that will develop Nigeria. It is the money of Edo people that will develop Edo.
“The government can do so much and you have seen what we are trying to do with the little resources that we have. I know how much we can achieve. There is a need for all stakeholders to change their attitude towards contributing to good governance.”