Nigerians should get value for Taxes - FIRS chair Nami to Federal Government, States
Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Chairman, Muhammad Nami has encouraged governments at all tiers to ensure that tax-compliant citizens enjoy the value for the taxes they pay.
Nami made the call in his goodwill message to the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) 7th Internally Generated Revenue Learning Event in Abuja on Wednesday.
The federal tax chief reminded the authorities that citizens legitimately expect their leaders to provide them with necessary amenities for good living.
He said Section 16(b) of the Constitution provides that: “The State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution, control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom, and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.”
The chairman noted that governments at various tiers must, in view of the constitutional provisions, imbibe the culture of “value-for-money”.
“The citizens should not just hear budget figures but must, within their immediate living quarters, feel, see and experience effects of tax revenue. This, going forward, should be the norm and not an exception”, he said.
Nami encouraged governors to look inwards and create alternative sources of revenue away from depending on oil sources and adopt the right tax policies to ensure funding for infrastructure in their states.
“This source of (oil) revenue is no longer sustainable as the market for fossil fuel continues to deplete due to complications arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift from fossil fuel to other cleaner sources of energy, rising cost of exploration, banditry and oil theft, etc.
“In plain truth, the future of crude oil as a major revenue earner is very bleak. Going forward, taxation remains the only sustainable source of revenue anywhere in the world. Nigeria is not an exception. It is important for governments, at all levels, to fight tax evasion, touting, etc.
“Twenty-two years since Nigeria started this democratic dispensation, none of our legislative assemblies has a tax committee; it is surprising. We must see taxation in its proper context such that all arms of government (legislative, executive, and judiciary) would accord it due attention”, Nami added.