‘Insecurity, corruption, bane of govt revenues’

Chief Marc-Anthony DikeFrom Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos

Decline in tax and other government revenues has been traced to insecurity and corruption in the country. The President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Chief Mac-Anthony Dike, submitted that insecurity had reduced economic activities, driven tax collectors away and made citizens unable to pay taxes in some states where insecurity and insurgency were rampant. Dike who spoke at the quarterly summit of the CITN held in Ilorin noted that there was need for the government tackle once and for all insurgency in the country to ensure the safety of lives and property

and to boost economic activities through tax collection. Dike said, “First and foremost, security concerns bring about disruption in economic activities. You cannot talk of tax collection

or tax administration in an area where there is insecurity. Certainly, once the economic activity is not there and income is not generated, even the tax offices are virtually closed because everybody is afraid for his life, then the expected government revenue from taxes cannot be realised in those areas.” According to him, the alleged corruption by government officials has remained a hindrance to the taxes payment and collection He urged government functionaries to be prudent and transparent in the management of public funds and called on the people to continue to pay taxes. Advocating stiffer punishment against corrupt government functionaries and other individuals involved in tax  administration, he cautioned multinational companies who were either evading taxes or not paying

appropriate taxes to refrain from such. Dike said, “Those who embezzle government revenue and fail to apply the tax payers’ money to provide goods and services should be rounded

up, summarily tried and sentenced to not less than 15 years imprisonment.

“Government should develop zero tolerance for those who do not show fidelity to payment of taxes. Why should government be co-habiting people who have not shown evidence that they have paid tax but they are rather more interested in coming to consume or steal that which other people have contributed? People say that there must be tax clearance certificate for those who want to vie for offices; not just that they pay tax; but are they paying adequate tax?

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