The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has urged all tiers of government to spend public funds judiciously to build trust and encourage citizens to pay taxes.
Its Director, Emerging and Special Taxes, Mrs Amina Ado, gave the advice in Abuja at a “Government-to-Citizens/FIRS interface forum with stakeholders.
Ado noted that government would get more Nigerians to pay taxes if budgetary allocations were tailored to provide visible infrastructure.
“It is not just the infrastructure, but also the need to run the economy in a way that there will be confidence for people to invest because it is only when they invest that we can get the taxes.
“We also need to make sure that funds are used judiciously and in a way that will reduce the cost of governance.
“The federal budget is not too much after the expenditure of the Executive and other arms of government had been deducted.
“We need to create more trust and an environment where Nigerians are willing and able to invest and are excited to be Nigerians,” Ado said.
She challenged Nigerians to hold public office holders to account as they were the ones spending taxes collected and not the FIRS which only collected taxes.
“Citizens have to hold political office holders accountable and they hold us accountable for delivering on our target.
“They have given us a target of N10.4 trillion.
“If Nigerians need to know what their taxes are being used for, the Budget Office’s website is there; they release a quarterly budget implementation report; Nigerians can engage with it.
“During the budget process, the Budget Office also releases what it calls a citizens’ guide to the budget,” she noted.
Earlier, convener of the programme, the Senior Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Mr Bode Gbore, said that it was organised to open the channel of direct conversation between government and the citizenry.
“It has been proven that Nigerians are interested in making contributions to the development and well-being of the nation,” he said.
The interface had “Government to Citizen Interface: Tax in present day Nigeria” as its theme.