Experts canvass strict monitoring of tax revenue expenditures
Professional tax administrators from the Society of Women in Taxation (SWIT) have argued that lack of openness, accountability and transparency in budgetary spending by authorities has inflicted more poverty than blessing to taxpayers.
They said, ordinarily, the purpose of paying tax is to uplift the lives of the tax payers but regretted that the opposite is the case in Nigeria because of fraud and deception by governments at all levels when it comes to expenditures.
Their position was made known last weekend at the maiden Distinguished Personality lecture organised by SWIT in honour of Dr, Ifueko Omoigwui Okauru in Abuja.
In a welcome address, SWIT National Chairperson, Dr. Ruth Abiola Adimula said that the ultimate objective of social development is to bring about sustained improvement in the well-being of individual groups, family, community and society at large.
Speaking on the topic, ‘’A roadmap for economic advancement of the Nigerian state: Reflections and thoughts’’ at the event, Dr. Okauru challenged tax collectors to also put in place strict monitoring of how tax funds are expended for the benefit of the people.
Okauru, a former FIRS Chief Executive Officer noted: “The purpose of tax collections from the citizens is to use the same to their advantage but what we have in our country today is painful when the same collections are being stolen by those in authority to benefit themselves rather than the taxpayers.
‘’Today, our hospitals are without drugs, majority of our qualified doctors are going away to other countries because of poor remunerations. We have poor infrastructure all over the place, our educational systems are in comatose, there is shortage of food because of insecurity, our graduates have no jobs because companies are closing down while nepotism, religion and tribalism has suddenly become the only way to get employment in the Ministries, departments and agencies [MDAs], of government, all of these have not benefited the tax payers.”
She noted, however, that despite the challenges, there is hope for Nigeria if all hands will be on deck to eliminate the endemic corruption, nepotism, religion and tribal sentiments that have bedeviled the nation in the last two decades.
She challenged tax administrators as well as civil society organisations to ensure proper monitoring of government revenues and expenditures, especially as regards how they benefit the people in areas of infrastructure development, health, agriculture and as well as other social services that improves the living standards of the people.
In a goodwill message, the Registrar/Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria [CITN], Adebayo Awogbade said the economic advancement of the country can be attained when there is qualitative increase in the monetary value of goods and services produced in the economy within a given year as this in turn, implies improved productivity, higher literacy rates and better public education.