Dr Fakele Adediran, a don at Covenant University, Ogun, says the Nigerian tax system is ‘’unfair and hindered development of the country’’.
Adediran, who specialises in accounting and taxation, stated this in an interview with some reporters on Wednesday in Lagos.
He said that the country could achieve tax justice through effective tax reforms and implementation.
He decried the situation where those in the formal sector, especially the civil and public servants, paid more taxes than their counterparts in the informal sector.
While calling for the proper harnessing of taxes from the informal sector, Adediran urged government to improve the allowances of workers in the civil service to augment the high cost of living.
“By way of reforming our tax laws and system, there is need to do that for us to actually achieve tax justice because we realise that majority of the people, especially those who are in paid employment, pay taxes much more than those who are involved in the informal sector.
“So the fairness of it is not there, if the majority because there are many, there are more people in the informal sector than the formal sector and for them not being part of the tax net, then it’s not fair.
“The allowances on housing should be increased on children should go up, on accommodation, transport and all that, so all those allowances need to be reviewed up to bring fairness into it.
“So all you need to do is to intensify your internally generated revenue through taxation.
“We are not saying you should put burden on the people but at least, let everybody fulfill their civic responsibility of paying taxes.”
Adediran also called for the implementation of environmental laws to protect the country’s environment and rainforest resource and expressed the hope that such laws would ascertain proper harnessing of environment tax.
“The environmental tax issue is, let there be a law to take care of that; at state government level, they can do something.
“Let the legislators pass a law and let the governor act on that law because you are within your environment, you know what you are suffering, so, pass it and implement it.”
He urged government at all levels to intensify their internally generated revenue through taxation.
He commended Lagos State Government for its tax generation policy and for effectively utilising the revenue to develop the state.
Adediran urged other states and local governments to emulate the Lagos State model to generate funds that would enable them to fulfill their electioneering promises to the people.
“Other states should emulate what Lagos state is doing because that is the only way to survive.
“What is coming from federation account is not enough to meet the yearning needs of Nigerians so states need to intensify their internally generated revenue through taxation.’’