The Joint Tax Board (JTB), which is the apex tax authority in Nigeria, has announced its design of a system that will make politicians pay the right taxes.
The Board noted that many Nigerians, who pay taxes from their meagre income, are unhappy that politicians who earn huge salaries and allowances only rush to remit nominal amounts to secure Tax Clearance Certificates during electioneering.
JTB’s Executive Secretary, Mrs Nana-Aisha Obomegie, who spoke during a webinar on ‘Critical Tax Reforms for Shared Prosperity’, stressed that Nigeria would go nowhere without an improved tax collection system.
She further told the session, organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, that despite the country’s population, its tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio remained low at about six per cent compared to the 18 percent average on the continent.
When implemented, Obomegie said the new system, for which a committee had been set up, would help to ensure that both politicians and non-political persons pay the right taxes.
She said: “There is resistance to pay tax in Nigeria. When you go out to collect these taxes, people ask you certain questions that you cannot even answer, especially about political office holders. People tell us, for example, that lawmakers earn millions but that you are trying to collect tax from them to pay the politicians”.
JTB was set up to ensure uniformity of standards and application of Personal Income Tax in Nigeria. The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service is its Chairman. The Board has a representative from each state.