Have you ever heard of merriment tax? Lagos State Government says residents of Lagos spend more than N1 billion on merriment and entertainment monthly.
The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, MrAdemorin Kuye, gave the figure at a news conference organised to mark Gov.Babatunde Fashola`s sixth year in office.
He said the figure was derived from a research recently conducted by the Ministry of Budgeting and Planning, which showed that the residents spent a lot of money on entertainment. Kuye lamented that the benefits of entertainment had not been fully tapped to boost revenue generation in terms of taxes. “There is merriment tax in the constitution, it is part of the rates local governments can collect. We have not fully utilised the benefit of the entertainment industry in this state. “Over N1 billion is spent monthly in Lagos state on entertainment, we have the records to confirm this and these people, how many of them pay tax?
“The money goes into drinks, wine, food, aso-ebi (uniform dresses) and all of that and when they spend all of this money, they do not want to pay anything to the government.” On the clamour for autonomy for local governments, Kuye said those behind the agitation were not sincere but only pushing for it to score political points. “The position of the government is that the clamour is not with sincere intention because it will not benefit the local governments.
“I have challenged people to go out there and find out if it is what the people want.“Those clamouring are doing so for political gains; to use the local government to get elected into positions.’’ He said it was the same people that had earlier said there was no need for local governments that were now saying money should be given directly to the councils.
What’s your say on this merriment tax? Do you think it’s a welcome development?