By Steve Oni, Ilorin
As part of efforts to motivate small business owners and eradicate poverty in the state, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has directed the state’s revenue service to put in motion a five-year tax relief regime for small business owners.
According to the governor, the five years tax relief regime is imperative in order to allow for economic growth and development of the state.
Ahmed, who gave this directive on Monday in Ilorin at a lecture to mark the 50th anniversary of the state, maintained that the state has not introduced fresh taxes but “only succeeded in blocking leakages in the system through effective management of the collection processes.” “Our business is not to kill your business but to grow your business,” he assured business owners.
He, therefore, directed Chairman of the state Internal Revenue Service to coordinate the process of the tax holiday.
Earlier, the guest speaker, and former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Sarah Alade, advised the state government to design an economic blue print so as to strategically reposition the state for economic prosperity.
In her paper titled “Socio-Economic Development of Kwara State: An Agenda for the future,” Dr Alade said Kwara State has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and should never be among the poorest. She, therefore, urged the government to step up its Public Private Partnership concept.
She admonished the state government to address what she called “lopsided infrastructure development in Kwara Central “, urging the state to spread infrastructure to rural areas in order to reduce pressure on the centre.
Chairman of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, Dr Murtala Awodun, had in his remarks stressed the need for tax holiday for micro, small and medium enterprises if the state must open up for economic growth and development.
He explained that report has it that more than 70 per cent of small businesses die within the first five years of their existence.
He, therefore, called for tax waivers of five years for small businesses with a view to creating economic prosperity in the state.