Subair: Moving Lagos Revenue Collections To Global Standard

By ABUBAKAR YUSUF

The Lagos Internal Revenue Service LIRS was a model for other states of the federation tend to understudy , especially Nigeria’s revenue collection agency , the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS in the last few years.

The purposes and need to understudy was borne out of adaptation and adoption of new tax models geared towards creating a robust tax collection and strategic vision for more exploration to more revenue outlets.

The positive development had paid off in the last five years in Lagos state under the leadership of the Executive Chairman, Lagos Internal Revenue Service LIRS, Mr Hamzat Ayodele Subair since 2016.

Appointed by the previous administration of Lagos state, before then, the revenue generation capacity of Lagos stood at 20B per month, jump start to twice the amount between 2019 and 2021 to 40B, and with potentials of more improvements in the coming years.

For Subair, the growth of Lagos revenue from as low as 600M at 100% monthly in 1999, at the inception of the current democratic practice has now rose to 40B monthly, amounting to 7,400 % increase within two decades of the current democracy in Nigeria.

With the current improvement that stood at 40B in 2021, and the introduction of more revenue generation outlets particularly the new consolidated 1,000 commercial buses revenues among many others, it is expected that access to geometric increase in the tax collection of Lagos state giving the estimated of over 50,000 commercial vehicles plying Lagos roads on daily basis.

Without any consternation, Lagos state is expected to generate additional revenue of 500M on a daily basis, giving strict enforcement under the current leadership of LIRS amounting to additional 15B yield from the year 2022, collectible revenue figures in Lagos state.

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With the current proposal from other revenue sources and the projection of the present administration under Babajide Sanwo-olu administration of plans to generate more than 1tr in 2022, no doubt Lagos state Internal Revenue Service LIRS is expected to hit the 1tr target by the end of 2022, to align with the 2022 capital and recurrent expenditure of over 1tr , and possibly fund this year’s budget, which will be a realizable efforts on the long run.

No wonder, the re-appointment of Mr Subair in January, 2022 was purely on merit, to enable him continue to render tax collection template, as well as taking the lead not only among the sub-nationals in Nigeria, but putting behind some regions in Nigeria, interms of revenue collections as it was obtainable in the 2021 under review, when Lagos revenue generation base surpassed the entire Northern states of Nigeria.

His success story both at the state and federal level was largely the introduction of enlightenment policies to improve the literacy level and the need to pay tax as at when due, as one of the statutory obligations of an average lagosians among many others.

The data processing system of tax collection and payments adopted by the Lagos Internal Revenue Service LIRS under the leadership of Mr Subair had assisted in great measure to reduce human interferences, fraud and fraud related activities in the remittance details.

With Lagos template of tax collection, the ease of doing business by local and foreign conglomerates was guaranteed, as well as gave confidence both to the government and the tax payers.

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The adoption of quid-pro-quo mode or taxation by the Lagos Internal Revenue Service were exchanges are made to exchange something for something basically on mutual agreements, that will not exposed the singular idea of generating more revenues to the state government.

It also led not only other states of the federation trooping into Lagos to understudy the achievements and enhancements of tax policies, including the FCT, but encouraged the federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS into giving hosting right of the last 149th Joint Tax Board meeting as an encouragement to other states of Nigeria, as well as a challenge to rejig it’s internal to review upward revenue generation, as well as pave way for more innovations on tax collection by the state government .

Lagos as the leading states in tax collections and tax hub of Nigeria had deployed it’s yearly revenue into tax funded programs and social services, which included the total reconstruction of Massey street children hospital from it’s glorified structure to a seven story building to provide more robust and quality healthcare to children in Lagos state.

The ongoing construction of Lagos rail Mass Transit ( Blue and Red) which included it’s completed bus stops to facilitate movements of good and services, through the rail system readily comes to mind.

The new Lekki craft market embarked upon by the Lagos state government was also one of many tax funded programs of the state to pave way for growth in enterpreneurs, capacity building and development in the state.

All these and many more justified the re-appointment of Mr Hamzat Ayodele Subair for another five years second and final term geared towards taking Lagos revenue status to another level, and the crescendo of successes and replication by other states of Nigeria.

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Written by ABUBAKAR YUSUF, A Public Affairs Analyst, All inquiries to yus.abubakar3@gmail.com.

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