The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has issued a clarion call to all Nigerians, urging them to fulfil their civic duty by paying their taxes.
Alhaji Muhammad Shehu, the Chairman of RMAFC, emphasized the importance of tax payments in bolstering government revenue and enhancing service delivery.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, Shehu expressed concern about the current state of tax compliance in the country.
He revealed that less than 40 million Nigerians are currently registered in the tax system and actively discharging their tax obligations. He emphasized, “That is too low for a country that has more than 200 million population.”
Support for tax reform committee
Chairman Shehu commended the establishment of a Tax Reform Committee, led by President Bola Tinubu. He believes that this committee holds the potential to significantly expand the tax net, particularly by incorporating economic players from the informal sector.
- Regarding the ongoing debate about the informal economy, Shehu explained, “What this tax reform committee that we have set up will do is bring a lot of agencies together, including RMAFC. We are a member of that committee.
- “We have articulated our position, and we will communicate what we believe can add value to the discussion.”
- He stressed the potential outcomes of this collaborative effort, saying, “At the end of it all, we will have a better society where more people are paying taxes, and the revenue generated will be utilized for better services and infrastructure, benefiting every Nigerian.”
Collaboration for improved tax efficiency
Shehu called upon the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to forge a robust partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to identify and address instances of tax evasion.
He highlighted certain situations where individuals underreport their income but engage in high-value imports.
- “Somebody will declare an income of N600,000 in a year but that same person will import a vehicle of N40 million into Nigeria,”
He emphasized the need for the FIRS to scrutinize such cases and collaborate with the NCS to enhance tax efficiency.
- “If you import a brand-new car, your name, your date of birth, your address, your NIN number should all be required,” he said.
Promoting a culture of tax compliance
The RMAFC Chair continued by urging all Nigerians to willingly embrace the idea of paying their taxes. He highlighted the crucial role that taxes play in government revenue generation and the subsequent provision of essential services and infrastructure.
- “I think it is very important for every Nigerian to try and pay their taxes because it is from those monies you get services,” Shehu asserted.
Furthermore, he said Nigerians should view tax payments as a civic duty, similar to paying utility bills or purchasing telephone recharge cards.
- “The more you pay your taxes, the more money the government has to invest in road and rail construction, better hospitals, pensions, social security, and comprehensive plans to assist the needy.”