The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has urged all tiers of government in the country to be prudent with public funds in order to encourage citizens to pay taxes.
Speaking at an event tagged ‘Government to Citizen interface: Tax in the present day Nigeria,’ FIRS Director of Emerging and Special Taxes, Amina Ado, said Nigerians will pay their taxes if budgetary allocations are tailored to solve their needs and they can see the projects.
Ado admitted that the federal government is saddled with a lot of responsibilities, but it has to find “a way to execute all these projects so that people can see them clearly. It is not just the hard infrastructure but also run the economy in a way that there will be confidence for people to invest because it is only when they invest that we can get the taxes” she said.
According to her, “we need to make sure that funds are used judiciously and in a way that will reduce the cost of governance”.
“If you look at the federal budget when you take out what the executive and other arms will spend, it is not that much, we need to create more trust and an environment where Nigerians are willing, are able to invest and are excited to be Nigerians.”
She clarified that the FIRS “is not the agency that spends the tax collected but it administers taxes, citizens, in turn, need to hold political office holders accountable”.
“Citizens have to hold political office holders accountable and hold us accountable for delivering on our target, they have given us a target of N10.4 trillion.
“If Nigerians need to know what their tax is being used for, the budget office website is there, they release a quarterly budget implementation report, they can engage with it. During the budget process, the budget office also releases what they call a citizen guide to the budget.”
In his remark, the convener and Senior Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Mr Bode Gbore, said the event was organized to open the channel of direct conversation between the government and citizens and that “it has proven that Nigerians are interested in making contributions to the development and well being of the nation”.