*Says citizens shouldn’t just hear budget figures
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has called on the government at all levels to ensure that citizens feel the impact of tax collected in their areas of responsibility.
Executive Chairman of the Service, Mohammad Nami, at the 7th IGR Learning Event, organised by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja, noted: “The citizens should not just hear budget figures but must, within their immediate living quarters, feel, see and experience effects of tax revenue.”
Nami stated that taxation remains the most veritable tool in addressing the imbalance between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the society.
He stated that beyond the use of taxation for balancing social-economic standing of citizens, “it is the contribution that members of the society make in order for their leaders to provide them with social amenities in appropriate quantity and quality.”
According to him, tax is the price paid in anticipation of decent living conditions, adding that tax-compliant citizens can legitimately expect their leaders to provide them with necessary amenities for a ‘good life’.
He noted that section 16 (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 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.”
NGF Chairman Dr. Kayode Fayemi, blamed decline in tax revenue to tax evasion and poor attitude to taxation by citizens.
Fayemi, who was represented by the NGF Director-General, Asishana Okauru, noted that state governments recorded marginal growth in the IGR between 2016 and 2019, but recorded a 3.4 percent decline in 2020.