From Uche Usim, Abuja

To galvanize the informal sector to contribute to building a modern society, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has proposed the introduction of Road Infrastructure Tax in Nigeria.

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed this on Thursday while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, led by its National President, Chris Isiguzo, in his office, in Abuja.

According to him, the proposed Road Infrastructure Tax to be administered by FIRS, will provide the government with adequate funding for road construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance, as well as providing the needed security for roads in the country.

According to the FIRS Executive Chairman, “The only way to make the informal sector contribute to building a modern society is by making them pay when they use the roads”, he stated.

“That is why we are proposing that the government should consider introducing Road Infrastructure Tax in Nigeria.“

He noted that “in many jurisdictions, road users pay for the use of road infrastructure as such it shouldn’t be seen as an additional burden on our citizens because it has the potential of making life better for all of us.”

Speaking further, Nami stated that Nigeria’s economy presently relies heavily on non-oil revenues to discharge its statutory responsibility of paying salaries and providing social amenities to the citizenry.

“Without the tax that you pay governments at all levels would not be able to fulfil their mandate to the electorates. Tax money also helps to ensure the roads you travel are safe and always in good condition,” he said.

Nami also stated that despite sharp practices by some companies who were in the habit of evading taxes, by shifting their capital and profits to tax havens, as well as low revenue from Petroleum Profit Tax, due to the shortfall in crude oil production among other factors, the FIRS has been putting forward critical reforms that have been yielding positive impact on the Service’s operations.

“Adopting technology in tax administration is crucial in improving domestic revenue mobilization in view of dwindling oil prices in order to avoid falling into debt crisis. It is against this backdrop that the TaxPro-Max became the channel for filing Naira-denominated tax returns effectively from 7th June, 2021.

Earlier, the NUJ National President, Isiguzo, said the visit of the union was part of his resolve to engage critical institutions as a key stakeholder in charting a way forward for the country’s collective good.

The NUJ president described FIRS as a vital institution in the country, which “requires all the support it needs especially at a time when the country is security-challenged, adversely affected by COVID-19 and faced with FOREX crisis as well as political intrigues from different parts of the nation.”

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Source: news