The Federal Government on Thursday commenced the weekly public education and enlightenment exercise it launched last week to encourage Nigerians embrace voluntary declaration and payment of tax.
At the official launch of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDs, in Abuja, acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had declared every Thursday as “Tax Thursday”, dedicated for the sensitisation of Nigerians on the importance of tax and its role in national development.
During the maiden edition of the exercise in Abuja on Thursday, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Tunde Fowler, said the campaign would be replicated at the grassroots in all the 36 states of the federation.
Mr. Fowler said ‘Tax Thursday’ would continue every Thursday for the next one year, as part of efforts by the federal government to raise the consciousness of Nigerians on tax as a major source of revenue for the country.
The exercise is expected to capture additional four million tax payers in the tax net and increase the revenue haul from tax among the over 14 million already registered tax payers.
“The only way we can make Nigeria sweet is to start paying our taxes,” Mr. Fowler said at the commencement of the exercise.
“We have come out with the VAIDs programme, which gives everybody the opportunity to come out and declare their income and pay their contributions to ensure that Nigeria becomes a better place for all.
“I’m sure if we all contribute, Nigeria of our dreams will emerge. It will become a prosperous and conducive country to live in. Let’s join hands together to realize this dream by paying taxes,” Mr. Fowler said.
The chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC Traders Association, Edozie Ugwu, said tax compliance would be deepened in the area so that government would have no excuse not to deliver on its promises.
“We are ready to pay our taxes because without taxes, we cannot make the country work. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to regularize our taxes,” Mr. Ugwu said.