Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says he would rather continue to put pressure on the rich to pay their taxes regularly than reducing the salaries/wages of workers in the state.
Oshiomhole stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.
The governor, who restated his opposition to reduction of workers’ salaries as being contemplated by the Nigerian Governors Forum, advised state governments to look inwards to boost their internally generated revenue to enable them maintain the N18,000 minimum wage.
He said: “You have to pay tax.
“They are telling me: who are you?
“And I’m like I’m government.
“And if you don’t pay, you who have houses in other countries, you pay your land use charge and when you come to Edo you think you can use bold face.
“I squeeze you.
“If you don’t pay, we take you to court, we secure conviction and we send you to prison.
“And we have secured convictions.
“We destroyed properties of rich people and they are excreting.
“Well, this kind of excreting is not something that is smelling.
“We just squeeze the money out of their pockets.
“And we are up to date in salaries.
“Last month I paid (salaries) on 25th.
“The month before, I paid on the 23rd and this month I will pay by the 20th, before Christmas, and people are entitled to celebrate democracy.”
On the proposed N6 trillion 2016 Federal Government’s budget, Oshiomhole described it as a “progressive budget” aimed at creating more employment opportunities.
The governor called for the extension of the ongoing probe of arms purchase scam to cover all those who endorsed, signed and approved the release of the stolen money.
Oshiomhole said his call was informed by the fact that the former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, a principal suspect in the scam, was an advisory officers and not a procurement agent for government.
Oshiomhole also called on the Federal Government to investigate the payments of oil subsidy to marketers in the oil sector.