The Oyo State Government has appealed to owners of businesses in the hospitality sector in the state to pay their dues and taxes to the government, emphasizing that it has set up the machinery to deal with tax defaulters.
The government said that its tax net will catch all the defaulters and they will be dealt with according to the law, adding that government officials in conjunction with members of the hospitality sector and necessary stakeholders will soon embark on monitoring exercise to ensure compliance of tax payment.
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun said this during a meeting of stakeholders in Tourism and Hospitality sector held at the weekend at the Ministry’s premises secretariat, Ibadan, clarifying that the move is not meant to strangulate business activities but to ensure compliance with tax laws.
Arulogun explained that the hospitality and tourism sector is one of the most vibrant in the state’s economy, noting that the government will not fold its hands and allow a huge chunk of its revenue to slip away.
He added that Government has rededicated its efforts in ensuring that its tax net accommodates all potential tax payers, stressing that the government will leave no stone unturned to explore the growing hospitality industry which has recorded an increased growth in size of 103% since the inception of Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s administration.
Arulogun said that the government will not tolerate tax defaulters, saying “Government has set up a task force to go round operators in the hospitality industry statewide. This task force is comprised of all the stakeholders in the sector. We want people to pay their dues as government is driving the 2018 appropriation bill through internally generated revenue. We will not strangulate any business through the payment of their dues but rather provide the conducive, enabling and secured environment as well as the required infrastructure to make businesses thrive.”
Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting, the President, Hoteliers Association of Oyo State, Chief Jerome Adoroh clamoured that all hospitality businesses should register with the state government, hoteliers association as well as relevant bodies, pledging that the association would support the state government in its IGR drive in the hospitality sector.
He said “we need to support the present administration in the state. Governor Ajimobi is turning around the State and more businesses are springing up. Go to Ologuneru, New Ife Road, Basorun-Akobo among others, you will see the government’s presence. However, I wish to appeal to the governor to pay compensation to property owners that are affected by the ongoing infrastructural development.
“Governor Ajimobi is rebuilding Oyo State and people that are criticizing him now will thank him later. He has modernized Oyo State. Government should set up a task force comprising government officials, hoteliers, tourist operators, canteen owners among other to generate revenue from the hospitality sector,” he added.
Chief Adoroh stated that every individual has a responsibility towards government, stressing that it should be the responsibility of all and sundry to contribute to the development of Oyo State.
The stakeholders’ meeting was attended by representatives of government, Hoteliers Association of Oyo State, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Oyo State, Night Clubs Owners in Oyo State and Canteen Owners Association of Oyo State.
It would be recalled that the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism recently led a team comprising of the Ministry and Oyo State Tourism Board officials on a Sensitisation and Advocacy visits to Hotels, Restaurants, Canteens, Bars, Lounges and Event Centres to kick start the 2018 IGR drive in the Hospitality sector in the state.