Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has said that taxation is the way to achieving a sustainable economy and a robust funding of government infrastructures and social services.
Fowler said this while speaking on the theme: “Tax: An Old Wave on a New Shore” at the maiden edition of GTL Trustees roundtable thought leadership conference in Lagos.
According to him, “Nigeria cannot be developed if we do not fund it now. Every developed economy, when checked has a direct funding from tax payment.
If we do not pay taxes, we cannot hold the government responsible but when we begin to pay our taxes then we can hold the government accountable for lack of development in the country.
According to him, taxation and borrowing are two major ways government finances its expenditures adding that taxation is deemed preferable to borrowing as debt has to be repaid usually with interest and other debt servicing obligations which can sometimes create an additional burden on government.
Fowler further asserted that most developed economies of the world are tax-based economies, and have good taxation system while resource-based economies are either developing or underdeveloped have poor tax compliance system and are usually faced with revenue shortfall when the prices of their natural resources drop.
He noted that the tax payment in Nigeria has been abandoned for years due to the exploitation of natural resources adding, “it has become clear over the years that reliance on perishable resources like oil as a source of revenue is ill-advised and more organic sources particularly taxation, are reliable.”
The Managing Director of GTL Trustees Limited, Mrs. Omobola Makinde, in her opening address said that taxation has become critical and is key to any economy all over the world.
She advised that Nigeria’s current revenue challenges have brought to the fore the need to diversify revenue base at Federal, State, and Local Government Levels.
According to her “our intention is to share innovative ideas and promote collaboration between industry stakeholders and thus we organized this Stakeholders’ roundtable with the theme: “Tax: An old wave on a new shore”.