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Below 40M of 220M population pay taxes

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By Mercy Kelani

Tax Reform Committee was set up by the Nigerian President for this purpose.

Muhammad Shehu, the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, announced that Nigerians who were recorded paying their taxes are less than 40 million. This was stated during his speech, where he implored Nigerians to duly improve service delivery and increase government revenue through the regular payment of their taxes. He decried that the record of tax payments is of an extremely low percentage, owing to the population of the country, which is over 220 million people.

Shehu declared that the speculation of high revenue allocated to political office holders are false. He said that the elected political office holders did not receive outrageous emoluments. He added that the commission was responsible for the development of a software for promotion of transparency in revenue generation and sharing amongst the three levels of government. The initiative of a Tax Reform Committee, which was recently organized by the Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was commended by Shehu.

This initiative will create a better society for all Nigerians.

According to Shehu, informal economy has had a debate ongoing about it. Coordination of all agencies, including RMAFC, will be carried out by the tax reform committee. He added that communication of objectives and articulation of positions have been done by the RMAFC to contribute value to the discussion. This initiative will also create a better society, where the tax of the people will be used and the taxpayers can enjoy it through the provision of infrastructure and better services for all Nigerians.

He implored the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to establish a firm collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which will distinguish major categories of people in Nigeria that avoid taxes. Also, some taxes are not paid to the government by Nigerian citizens. He expressed his optimism on the FIRS diligent evaluation of evaded taxes through its partnership with NCS for increased efficiency. He declared that everyone should pay their taxes, which would further provide essential services.

It is the constitutional duty of the RMAFC to review salaries.

Furthermore, the construction of good roads and functional amenities are all provided through the payment of taxes. Thus, taxes provide functional services for the people, which encourages a good environment and functional infrastructure. More so, electricity bills are essential for people to pay, including water bills — conveniently and willingly in the same way they purchase their telephone airtime. Also, road and rail construction, social security, pensions, better hospitals, can only be done through these payments.

The condemnation of the proposed increase of political office holders’ salaries by 114 percent, amidst the worsening economic hardship in the country, got reactions from Shehu. The RMAFC boss rebuffed this information about the increase of the salaries of political office holders. Although, he explained that it is the constitutional responsibility of the RMAFC to review and determine the salaries of judicial, legislative and executive officers. He stated that there have been no reviews held from 2008 to date.

Review of political office holders’ salaries is not accepted for now.

Additionally, Shehu said that the speculated increase would not be contemplated by the commission, considering the exacerbating economic difficulties which is currently faced by the citizens. He said to Nigerians that due to the challenges facing the government, the review of the salaries of political office holders will not be accepted. Shehu declared that the monthly earning of a minister is less than N1 million, while the earning of the Nigerian President is not up to N1.5 million. The chairman disclosed that statutory office running costs are what is being tagged as outrageous earnings by lawmakers.

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