The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has said that transparency, accountability and efficient utilisation of taxes will boost taxation in Nigeria.
Chairman of the Annual Tax Conference Committee, Mr Samuel Agbeluyi, said this in Abuja during a courtesy visit on the Acting Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Jones Afolabi.
He said that if government could account for what taxpayers pay they would be happy making those payments knowing fully well that whatever they paid would be properly utilised.
“Once a project is essentially financed with taxes from people and there is transparency and accountability the fallout is that they will pay what you are supposed to pay.
“Also, the passive attitude of the citizens will go away because they can now see how their money is being utilised.
“So, tax as a source of revenue brings about responsibility to the citizens and obligation to the government to ensure that the money being collected is properly utilised’’, he said.
Agbeluyi expressed dissatisfaction that many income earners from the informal sector do not pay tax.
He said there was the need to include them in the tax net in order to generate enough revenue and actualise diversification from oil which the nation needs.
He said that the aim of the visit was to reach out to stakeholders across the country and to sensitise them about the institute’s 18th annual tax conference.
The conference, themed “The Fiscal Challenges and Opportunities of the Nigerian Economy’’ is scheduled to hold between May 11 and May 14 in Abuja with a keynote address by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Agbeluyi said the focus of the institute was to ensure that the taxation system was perfected through the conference.
“We want to harmonise areas of mutual cooperation that would lead to improved access to information, promote taxpayer education and improve voluntary tax compliance.
“We would also dwell on the process of increasing tax revenue, bring in the tax payer to seat under the same umbrella during the conference with the tax administrator to ensure that there is a balance.’’
Responding, Afolabi said that taxation, if properly approached, could see Nigeria out of its current economic quagmire.
Represented by the Editor-In-Chief, Mr Lawal Ado, he said public enlightenment of the populace about the benefits of tax would boost it as some people thought that taxation was a sort of punishment.
He assured the team of NAN’s cooperation and support towards the conference and the economic development of Nigeria.