The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said governments across the country need to judiciously spend public funds to build trust and encourage citizens to pay their tax.
Speaking at an event tagged ‘Government to Citizen interface: Tax in the present-day Nigeria,’ in Abuja, FIRS’ Director of Emerging and Special Taxes, Amina Ado, said the government could only get more Nigerians to pay tax if budgetary allocation is tailored to solve their needs.
Ado noted that the federal government has so many responsibilities, thus, the need to explore ways to execute projects that people can see clearly and run the economy in a way that there will be confidence for people to invest as it is only when they invest that taxes can be generated.
“We also need to make sure that funds are used judiciously and in a way that will reduce the cost of governance. If you look at the federal budget, when you take out what the executive and other arms will spend, it is not that much, we need to create more trust and an environment where Nigerians are willing, are able to invest and are excited to be Nigerians.”
She added that the service is not the agency that spends the tax collected but it is to administer taxes, adding that citizens in turn need to hold political office holders accountable.
“It is the citizens that have to hold political office holders accountable and they hold us accountable for delivering on our target, they have given us a target of 10.4trn. If Nigerians need to know what their tax is being used for, the budget office website is there, they release a quarterly budget implementation report, they can engage with it. During the budget process, the budget office also releases what they called a citizen guide to the budget.”