Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Saâ€™ad Abubakar, on Monday challenged the Joint Tax Board to redouble efforts to convince Nigerians on the need to pay tax and the tangible benefits inherit in it.
The monarch threw the challenge when a delegation led by the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, paid him a courtesy call in his palace in Sokoto.
He maintained that the board must do more to convince people that tax paid would be used judiciously for the common good.
According to him, that is the only way Nigerians would voluntarily pay tax.
â€œWhy do people frown when they see tax collectors? How can we ensure that when people pay tax it will be used judiciously? the Joint Tax Board must convince people that tax paid will be used judiciously.
â€œThese are some of the issues you have to discuss during your meeting so that you will be a stronger body,â€ the monarch said.
He noted that in the past, emirs used to go round towns and villages to conduct tax assessment and people pay voluntarily.
The monarch however, admitted that Nigerians evade paying tax because of the fear that the money would not be judiciously utilised.
The Sultan insisted that Nigerians should hold on to their scriptures by being honest in their dealings.
He posited that if people fear God in all their activities, there wonâ€™t be any problem in the country.
In a remark, the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, told the monarch that they were in Sokoto for the 139th meeting of the Joint Tax Board
He said the objective of the Board was to harmonise personal income tax and advise government on tax matters.
The FIRS boss urged the Sultan to assist in disseminating the message on the need for Nigerians to be tax compliant.
Fowler to this end, reiterated the commitment of the board towards funding the nationâ€™s economy with tax revenue.