By Mustapha Usman
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Sunday said the state government has the capacity to generate monthly revenue of N12 billion if each of its estimated 12 million people is charged a flat monthly rate of N1,000.
Mr Sanusi made the assertion during the launch of the state Presumptive Taxation for commercial vehicle operators at the Government House in Kano.
The emir said “collecting a small amount from many people will definitely boost the coffers of the government”.
Mr Sanusi maintained that if Kano can generate as much as N12 billion monthly, it would not rely on funds from the federation account.
He said for the state to remain economically strong, it must look for sustainable options of earning more money.
The emir therefore enjoined people in the state to pay their taxes duly, saying that “paying taxes is securing our pride”.
“We are disparaged because we rely on oil money so we must explore alternative ways to sustain our states,” he said.
The emir, who assured that his council would support Mr Ganduje’s administration in its revenue generation drive, advised the state government to ensure that owners of big landed properties like residential structures at Nassarawa GRA, in the state capital, pay ground rent properly to enable the government provide services for the poor.
In his remarks, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, explained the importance of the presumptive tax for commercial vehicles buses, trucks, mini trucks, assorted tankers, luxury buses, tippers, trailers, taxis and tricycles.
“The taxes we are going to collect will help us to ensure that the roads you travel are free from potholes and will enable us build more roads, so that you can have the enabling environment to do business at ease,” he said.
Mr Ganduje also said the money collected would be used to provide more public utilities such as schools, health facilities, roads and to fund many pro poor programmes.
“We are paying salaries but that is not enough. We have to provide other services that would make living condition in Kano much better”, he pointed out.
He said capital-intensive projects being provided by the government are funded with tax payers’ money.
The governor therefore appealed to transport associations in the state to cooperate with the government to strengthen its revenue base, for enhanced development.
Earlier, the chairman of the state Internal Revenue Service, Sani Dembo, explained that the agency decided to carry out Presumptive Income Tax Assessment of transport-related businesses as one of the strategies for creating a tax system that encourages compliance with the provisions of the state tax laws.