The Oyo State government has set up a task force to handle tax defaulters in the hospitality business in the state, saying that it was doing everything to ensure tbat its tax net accommodates all potential tax payers.
According to the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, the move is not meant to strangulate business activities but to ensure compliance with tax laws.
Arulogun who said this at the weekend during a meeting of stakeholders in the Tourism and Hospitality industry, 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.
Appealing to owners of businesses in the hospitality sector in the state to pay their dues and taxes to the government, the commissioner stressed that 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 the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration.
His words: “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 businessà 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 held at the premises of the Ministry of Information, 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.