Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Muhammad Nami has advised state Governors to look inwards and create alternative sources of revenue away from depending on revenue from oil sources.
The FIRS boss also urged them to adopt the right tax policies to ensure funding for infrastructure in their states.
“In plain truth, the future of crude oil as a major revenue earner is very bleak. Going forward, taxation remains the only sustainable source of revenue anywhere in the world – Nigeria is not an exception, Nami said in a goodwill message to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s 7th internally generated revenue learning event in Abuja on Wednesday.
“To this end, Your Excellencies need to adopt right tax policies that will ensure adequate funding for the much needed social-economic infrastructures. Equally, it is important for governments, at all levels, to come together to fight tax evasion, touting, etc. which are negatively impacting tax revenue,” he stated.
Nami said that tax-compliant citizens legitimately expect their leaders to provide them with necessary amenities for good living, telling them to ensure that tax-compliant citizens enjoy the value for the taxes they pay.
According to a statement that was issued by his media assistant, Johannes Oluwatobi, Nami said governments at various levels must, in view of the constitutional provisions, imbibe the culture of “value-for-money” or, put in proper perspective, “value-for tax-money”.
“The citizens should not just hear budget figures but must, within their immediate living quarters, feel, see and experience effects of tax revenue. … This, going forward, should be the norm and not an exception,” he said.
Nami further called for greater attention to be given to matters of taxation especially at the state legislatures.
He observed that up to date, 22 years since Nigeria’s return to democracy, none of the state legislative assemblies has a tax committee; “it is surprising,” he said, adding that “we must see taxation in its proper context such that all arms of government (legislative, executive and judiciary) should accord it due attention.”