By Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has expressed disappointment over incessant tax evasion by some Nigerians, especially now that the country is under recession, noting that the civil disobedience contributes to the government’s inability to deliver democratic dividends.
Government decried that Nigeria’s economy is already being threatened by the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary to the State Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who spoke at the second edition of Civil Society Tax Compliance Advocacy, in Abuja, vowed that government would ensure strict compliance.
Represented by the Principal Administration Officer, Chinyere Mercy Onyebule, he said: ‘Citizens’ continuous tax default has further plunged developing nations into recession even when the economy is said to be out of recession. The obvious fact is that the economic operations of developing nations with citizens’ low tax remittance make the countries economically feeble.
‘Tax remittance, economic challenges, repositioning the nation’s economy in the face of COVID-19 pandemic through Tax compliance among citizens has ushered in the new economy which cuts across all sectors of the society and is threatening the livelihood of the Nigerian citizens.
‘It is quite astonishing to discover that the vast majority of the youths and students are alien to what tax remittance is about which transcends to the larger society whose attitude currently reflects in the citizen’s low tax remittance to the government which is seen in citizens disobedience to tax rules, procedure, and extant laws.
‘The huge vacuum of the above realism concerning citizen’s tax remittance to government needs to be covered urgently, to increase tax remittance among the citizens and business entities which is primary at this time of the nation’s economic recovering not to jettison the obvious numerical figures of Nigeria population strength which is over 200 million people yet, the people and businesses that are categorized for tax collection under the FIRS well-structured tax administration are very low with regards to what is expected.”
Meanwhile, Executive Director Initiative for Leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria,
Splendour Agbonkpolor, disclosed that the association would begin an aggressive campaign on the importance of tax compliance.
He added that: ‘Our readiness to take the Tax Compliance advocacy to every nooks and crannies of the society is predicated on current low citizen’s tax remittance to the government; knowing the consequences and the backlashes of low revenue generation to the Government at this material time of the Nation’s economy challenge especially to further cushion the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Nigeria economy and the citizens at large.’