The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said it is proposing the introduction of Road Infrastructure Tax in Nigeria, to make the informal sector contribute to building a modern society.
FIRS Executive Chairman , Muhammad Mamman Nami, disclosed this on Thursday, while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, led by its President, Chris Isiguzo, in his office, in Abuja.
Nami said the proposed Road Infrastructure Tax to be administered by the federal agency, would provide government with adequate funding for road construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance, as well as providing the needed security for roads in the country.
According to the FIRS boss, “one quick and very important intervention required of you is in the area of the Road Infrastructure Funding Scheme that the country needs in order to fix our roads and bring the informal sector to the tax net.”
He noted that, “in many jurisdictions, road users pay for the use of road infrastructure as such it shouldn’t be seen as an additional burden on our citizens because it has the potential of making life better for all of us.”
Speaking further, Nami stated that Nigeria’s economy presently relies heavily on non-oil revenues to discharge its statutory responsibility of paying salaries and providing social amenities to the citizenry.
According to him, without payment of tax, governments at all levels would not be able to fulfil their mandate to the electorates.
He stressed that tax money also helps to ensure that the roads are safe and always in good conditions.
He disclosed that the recent rise in the price of crude oil ordinarily should have impacted positively on the Petroleum Profit Tax payable by oil producing companies. However, it has shown otherwise due to some reasons, he said.
Earlier, Isiguzo, said the visit of the union was part of his resolve to engage critical institutions as a key stakeholder in charting a way forward for the country’s collective good.
The NUJ president described FIRS as a vital institution in the country, which, “requires all the support it needs especially at a time when the country is security-challenged, adversely affected by Covid-19 and faced with FOREX crisis as well as political intrigues from different parts of the nation.”
He said the NUJ has noted closely the FIRS’ “strident efforts to shore up the country’s revenue by deploying technology and the requisite personnel in this regard. Of interest to the Union is your digital technology solution, TaxPro-Max.
“The numbers show that it has assisted in boosting efficiency in tax administration and collection rates across the country.
“However, with your recent admission that only about 44 million out of a possible 100 million plus that pay tax makes it urgent for a robust integrated media campaign to get more Nigerians into the tax net. This the NUJ is willing to spearhead.”
Isiguzo assured the FIRS boss and his management team that the NUJ would commend the agency where it has done noble.