Nigerians Who Don’t Pay Tax Have No Right To Demand Accountability– Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said Nigerians who evade tax do not have the moral right to ask the government for accountability.

Ahmed said this during the public presentation of the breakdown of the 2022 budget proposal, which was earlier presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The Minister was responding to the lack of will to pay taxes among Nigerians.

So far, only 41 million Nigerians out of the 200 million population pay taxes, according to the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammed Nami.

The Finance Minister said, “People don’t see the benefit of the taxes that are being paid and therefore are hesitating to pay taxes, but that is partly true.

“When we didn’t have oil, taxes were the major source of funding for the government. I remember even as a kid, there were tax collectors that went round in villages to actually collect taxes and people were responsible for paying taxes.

“But we found oil and jettison most of the productive activities especially agriculture that we used to undertake in and government at the centre was just providing money for the states and we are still doing that on an ongoing basis.

“Once a citizen has not been paying their tax, then they themselves do not have the moral standing to actually ask for accountability from the government.

“But if you pay your tax, you will feel more compelled, you will have a more compelling reason to actually ask for accountability.”

She said Nigeria needs to go back to that fiscal era where Nigerians responsibly paid their taxes.

2022 BUDGETMuhammadu Namizainab ahmed
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