Number of Nigerians paying tax too low—RMAFC chairman


The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr Muhammad Shehu, has lamented over the number of Nigerians in the tax bracket, saying it is too small compared with the population of the country.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he said that less than 40 million Nigerians of the 200 million people (about 20 per cent) are currently included in the tax system and are paying taxes.

According to him, Nigerians need to start contributing their taxes to boost government revenue and improve public service delivery.

In his words, “That is too low for a country that has more than 200 million population. There is all this debate about the informal economy. What this tax reform committee will do is bring a lot of agencies together, including RMAFC. We are members of that committee. We have articulated our position, and we will communicate what we believe can add value to the discussion.

“At the end of it all, we will have a better society where more people are paying taxes, and the money will be utilized for better services and infrastructure so that every Nigerian can benefit”.

He noted that the FG, through its tax collection agency, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is overlooking some core tax, adding that with effective collaboration, this will be achieved.

“There are some taxes that the government is not getting from Nigerians. I believe the FIRS will look at all those things and then collaborate with the NCS for better efficiency.

“I think it is very important for every Nigerian to try and pay their taxes because it is from those monies that you get services.

“All the things that people like to tell you about clean environments, good roads, and functional infrastructure in other countries—it is the taxes that citizens pay that are utilized for those services. People should learn to pay their electricity bills; they should pay their water bills; they should pay just like you pay for telephone recharge cards.”

He called on Nigerians to pay their taxes so the government could provide the necessary infrastructure and ease up on borrowing.

“The more you pay your taxes, the more money the government has to put into road and rail construction, better hospitals, pensions, social security, and a better plan to help the needy,” he said.


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