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Why Nigerians ought to welcome paying taxes, according to Chukwudi Enekwechi



The practice of paying taxes has persisted as a way for residents to give back to the government for the social services it provides to them in all cultures, ancient and modern. Of course, governments exist to serve the people by providing social services like infrastructure and other development projects for residents to use, but it is also in the best interest of the people to reciprocate by paying their taxes on time.

In fact, one of the conditions for a citizen to run for public office in Nigeria, as well as in other countries, is to demonstrate that he or she is a responsible citizen by paying taxes; if this requirement is broken, the citizen will not be allowed to run for office. I seem to recall that in the second republic, the late patriot and president of the first republic, Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, was hauled before the court by his political rivals on the charge that he didn’t pay his taxes. But after the case was decided by the court, it was found that Dr. Azikiwe had, in fact, paid his taxes on time as a responsible citizen, so he went on to run for the coveted position of President.

This is one historical illustration of the significance of paying taxes. Additionally, when people pay their taxes, the government will be able to fulfill its obligations to the people in a sufficient manner. These obligations include providing social amenities like schools, care for the elderly and vulnerable populations, marketplaces, roads and bridges, water, healthcare, and sanitation.

In this regard, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria’s top tax authority, has received praise both inside and outside of Nigeria for its creative efforts to raise Nigeria’s revenue profile through its aggressive drive for tax collection from the populace.

It is interesting that Muhammad Nami has put forth various initiatives since taking office that have established the Federal Inland Revenue Service as the primary federal government revenue source for development outside of the oil sector.

Tax evasion is an extremely serious crime that can have harsh consequences for any offender, regardless of their place in society, in the majority of modern nations.

Given the foregoing, Nigerians are urged to adopt the habit of paying taxes because doing so shows one’s commitment to his country and is required of both individuals and corporate entities.

Taxes come in many forms, including personal income tax, corporate income tax, and tax on postsecondary education, among others. There is no disputing the reality that a social compact binds both the people and the government. While the government is carrying out its duties, the people are required to do their bit by paying their taxes on time.

Thankfully, this is going well under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, where the rise in tax income has resulted in the provision of several social facilities that are benefiting the populace.

The impact may be seen in many different areas, including the construction of water dams, power plants, railway lines, highways, bridges, and tertiary institutions in Nigeria. It goes without saying that the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s ability to fulfill its constitutional obligations would have prevented the provision of all these life-altering social programs.

By Chukwudi Enekwechi, JP

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