Taxpaying culture will change Nigeria’s economy – President Buhari

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Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government will continue to sensitize and encourage Nigerians to cultivate the culture of paying taxes by ensuring fair implementation policy and effective utilization of resources.

According to Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, the President stated this when he received the leadership of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday.

President Buhari revealed that the National Tax Policy document had been reviewed with the aim of institutionalizing a tax payment culture within the Nigerian workforce.

He said the progress made in diversifying the economy, providing social security and securing the country could be further improved with enhanced and expanded revenue base:

“We have made some progress in the past four years. However, a lot more can still be done. A key step is to enhance and expand Government’s revenue base.

“Today, we still rely on oil as our main source of income. This simply is not enough to meet our infrastructure, social services and security needs.’’

While describing Nigerians as hardworking and entrepreneurial, the President said the populace’s deeper understanding of the value of tax to the economy and fair administration would help in improving government’s revenue shortfalls.

On the other hand, in his remarks, President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Chief Cyril Ede, congratulated the President on winning his second term in office, and assured him of the institute’s support for a successful tenure, especially in the area of using tax to improve government’s revenue:

“Your victory is a clear sign of belief, trust and confidence that Nigerians have in you.’’

Ede said some higher institutions in the country had started offering taxation as a course, hoping it will also be taught in secondary schools.

According to him, nations can only achieve development with mobilization of resources through taxation.

He also added:“political leaders must set a good example for compliance on tax payment by ensuring that presentation of tax certificates remains one of the central requirements for those who want to contest elective positions.’’

Amaka E. Nliam