Lagos, Nigeria is the engine driving the nation’s astonishing transformation into a modern, fully-functioning democracy. The megacity is host to nearly 20 million people and in the last 15 years, Lagos State has become one of the only subnational governments to be financially self-sufficient from the federal government’s monthly allocations. The new source of funding is a historically-neglected resource in Nigeria: the people.
With the development of a modern tax administration, Lagos State has begun to chart a course of stable progress never before seen in Nigeria. Public projects to improve mass transport, infrastructure, and important social services have been funded largely by tax revenues instead of oil revenues, creating a much more sustainable government budget that does not rely on the volatile prices of exchange on the international market.
Lagosians from all walks of life have been witness to these changes around the city, sharing stories of the government’s new focus on addressing the needs of the people. With a robust commercial environment and the lowest rates of poverty in Nigeria, Lagos has begun to unlock the people’s potential to improve their lives and their businesses. Dr. William Babatunde Fowler and his team at the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service have strategically employed tax reform to reconnect Lagosians with their rightful heritage as Nigerians. A bright future full of opportunity has arrived for the people of Lagos, funded almost entirely by their personal contributions to the megacity vision.