By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has put fresh measures in place to institutionalize a new tax payment culture among the nation’s workforce.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, yesterday, the President made this known while receiving the leadership of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
Buhari who disclosed that the National Tax Policy document had been reviewed said the Federal Government will continue to sensitize and encourage Nigerians to cultivate the culture of paying taxes by ensuring fair implementation policy and effective utilisation of resources.
The President said the progress made in diversifying the economy, providing social security and securing the country can be further improved with enhanced and expanded revenue base.
“We have made some progress in the past four years. However, a lot more can still be done. A key step is to enhance and expand Government’s revenue base.
“Today, we still rely on oil as our main source of income. This simply is not enough to meet our infrastructure, social services and security needs,’’ he said.
Describing Nigerians as hardworking and entrepreneurial, the President said a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of tax on the economy by the populace and fair administration will help in improving government’s revenue shortfalls.
In his remarks, the President of CITN, Chief Cyril Ikemefuna Ede, congratulated the President for winning his second term in office, assuring him of the institute’s support for a successful tenure, especially in the area of using tax to improve government’s revenue.
“Your victory is a clear sign of belief, trust and confidence that Nigerians have in you,’’ he said.
Ede said some higher institutions in the country had started offering taxation as a course, hoping it will also be taught in secondary schools.
He said nations can only achieve development with mobilisation of resources through taxation.
The President of CITN said political leaders must set a good example for compliance on tax payment by ensuring that presentation of tax certificates remain one of the central requirements for those who want to contest elective positions.