Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode is worried that only 600,000 of its 22 million strong population pay tax (as he announced earlier today, Wednesday, July 12).
And he should be very disturbed by this dangerous index as its implications suggest a more worrisome future for the mega city.
With only 2.72% of the population dutifully paying taxes, the scenario painted is gloomier than imagined.
Here are some of the issues raised by the revelation as compiled by encomium.ng:
1. It glaringly shows the level of unemployment and underemployment in the mega city.
With those between 25 and 54 years, the able-bodied and productive, expected to be about 30.65% of the 22 million (which is 6.7 million), the fraction paying tax is disquieting.
Even if you add those who are between 55 and 64 years, tabulated at 3.96 of the population (which is 871,200), the picture becomes alarming.
2. Too many dishonest citizens.
There are too many dishonest people who don’t want to advance the cause of Lagos, and help the state solve most of its problems.
Who’s breeding this level of dishonesty with only 2.72% dutifully paying taxes?
3. There’s a huge disconnect between government and the people.
And the citizens don’t see any reason why they should fund the obscenely extravagant lifestyles of public officers.
Apart from stealing voraciously, the leeches in government live large. They live too far above the resources and economic status of the country with a massively humongous poverty stricken population.
4. Shows the huge infrastructure deficits needed by a younger population.
From schools to medicare and more, the figure reveals what the population requires in terms of facilities and services.
If more than 67% are young and aged, it means those 14.7 milllion Lagosians will need special facilities and services.
5. Crime rate will be very high.
With the army of jobless and disgruntled roaming the streets, all sorts of opportunistic and well plotted crimes will be witnessed.
And unless the masses are gainfully engaged, crime will skyrocket.
6. Many also work in the informal sectors and need proper education on civic duties.
It clearly shows that many are not captured in paying taxes as they work in the informal sectors.
There should be a change in strategy to make paying taxes easier, more convenient and worthwhile.
7. Census is key and very urgent.
Without a proper census, we are just guessing.
The 22 million figure is contentious. It may be far more!
Even the prestigious ‘worldometres’ listed Nigeria’s population at 191,989,245 at 4:20 pm today (Wednesday, July 12)! A far cry from the 170 million readily bandied.