Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, on Thursday, said he is yet to buy an official car for himself since he assumed office last year May.
The governor, therefore, charged other governors to look into their expenditure profile and do away with unnecessary spending to increase state revenue for the government to have more resources to meet the basic needs of the people.
Sanwo-Olu spoke at the 22nd Annual Tax Conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island in Lagos.
At the event which was also attended by his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai, Sanwo-Olu stressed the need for better utilisation of taxpayers’ money by public officeholders. This, he said, was crucial to building the trust of the citizens.
The Lagos State government in a statement on Thursday quoted Sanwo-Olu as saying, “We need to look at our expenditure profile as chief executive of our state and ask ourselves, where can I cut the red tape; what can I do away with so as to increase the revenue of my state or even make available more money for my state?
“What I have done till date is that I have not purchased any single official vehicle for myself, for any of my personal staff or any of my family members from the government purse. If you see me have a convoy of 10 vehicles, these are all vehicles I was using during my campaigns.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai joined me in one of my cars this morning and I can tell you that vehicle was one of the vehicles I used for my campaign; it is not brand new.
“So, I said to my people that, it is not a fanciful thing that every governor must begin to buy brand new vehicles when you do not need to. So, all of those millions have gone back into the treasury of the state and we are using it to develop the state very well.”
The statement titled, ‘Sanwo-Olu: Why I refused to acquire new vehicles as governor’ also stated that the President of CITN, Dame Simplice, urged the government to ensure that its economic policies in generating revenue are matched with tax reforms that encourage growth through executive orders and sponsorship of legislative bills capable of promoting entrepreneurship development.
Simplice also advised the National Assembly to address the nature of the Value Added Tax by including more items under the exemption list and giving clarity to existing ones.