The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) plans to capture 90 per cent of eligible tax payers into the tax net to shore up revenue, its Chairman Mohammad Nami said on Tuesday in Abuja.
He set the ambitious target during a live broadcast of his stewardship. The event was organised by the taxation Board and the government to Citizens Interface (G2C Interface), an organisation providing connecting platform between government and the governed.
Lami lamented that only 35 per cent of eligible Nigerians file and pay taxes, a situation he noted was denying the country much-needed revenues.
Represented by the Secretary of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Hajiya Nana-Aishat Obomeghie, the FIRS boss said tax payment enables the government to carry out infrastructural development, provide social amenities and fulfill the social contract between citizens and the state.
He urged Nigerians to take their civic responsibility with seriousness, stressing the need for increased tax compliance to drive development and reduce borrowing.
Nami said that raising the number of taxpayers from 35 to 90 per cent will increase revenue generation by 300 per cent, thus enabling the government to achieve its revenue targets.
He said: “We are citizens of this great nation and we must be patriotic and obey the constitution because Section 24 of the Constitution says that it is the responsibility of every citizen in this country to file and pay the correct taxes and it is when we pay the taxes that we can get the money for the needed development, provide good infrastructure and build the country of our dream.
“Though, we have been able to make N10 trillion at the federal level and N1.8 trillion at the sub-national for 2022, but it’s not enough. That is when we looked at the number of people we have in the tax net. Currently, we have about 35 per cent of taxable adults in Nigeria in the tax net and we want to move to 90 per cent because that is what obtains in the other climes, by then we should be able to significantly move our tax-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio, to the kind of level we have in the African continent.
The FIRS boss said one way to do that is to leverage data technology and automation of systems, saying “we are building what we call Data for Tax Initiative.