What Nigerians must do to hold governments accountable – Finance Minister Adeosun

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday attributed wastage of resources by state governments to non-compliance to tax payment by many Nigerians, especially at the state level.

Mrs. Adeosun, who made this known during a Facebook LIVE video chat tagged “Tax Thursday”, said many state governments get away with wastage and corruption because many Nigerians don’t contribute to the resources at the state level.

While responding to questions during the tax programme monitored by PREMIUM TIMES, the minister said governments at the state levels will become more responsible when Nigerians hold them accountable.

Mrs. Adeosun, however, noted that the citizens would hold them accountable only when they pay their taxes, adding that such action is part of their duties.

“It is our duty, this is our national duty. People get very patriotic about Nigeria; being a Nigerian is not about the flag, it is about doing the right thing…,” she said.

She explained further that payment of taxes has a way of fighting corruption.

“I think as we get together, as people pay more taxes as well, it does fight corruption,” she said.

“The problem at the moment is this: most state governments, there is no input from people in where the state government gets it money from; so, they come to Abuja, give you money and it goes back to the state.

“But when you in the state actually pay money into that state government, you’d get involved. You would join the political party, when they call you for budget town hall, people would turn up; they would want to know what exactly is the government planning to do.

“You’d get a lot more engagement from the public and that’s what keeps an eye on government; that’s what keeps an eye and checks corruption and checks wastage and make sure that money is spent not on wasteful project but on needful projects.”

Mrs. Adeosun noted that such relationship between government sand tax players alerts the people to the activities of government and creates vigilance on the part of taxpayers.

“I think that that partnership of taxpayers and government is very, very critical. If government gets money it doesn’t need, it’s not accountable to the people for, it is very easy for that money to go astray,” she noted.

“But when your money is there, then you make sure that, really, people do the right thing. And I think that’s very important – it is important for government and it is important for the people.”


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  • Kingo Kizito

    It’s in the nature of Africans especially Nigerians to be complacent waiting for God or whiteman to come and do everything for them. In my own village Umuduruaku, Eziachi in Orlu LGA in Imo State people keep on contributing money to jobless village heads who embezzle them and for more than 10 years have not been rendering account to the people on how their money is spent. Yet nobody cares.

    • gboyegaa

      Very good point, especially with their hypocrisy around religion. Religion, that is another thing that will kill Nigeria if Nigerians do not send all the fake prophets packing by not giving tithe to any church but instead, directly use it to help those that are poor in their churches.
      Almost 50% of Nigerians are now either pastor or elder in churches or Imam in the mosque. Majority being thieves and paedophiles.

  • Abdullah Musa

    You are partly right Minister.
    Are there no civil servants, formal private sector employees who pay taxes to state governments through paye?
    Are all traders in numerous markets trading without any form of tax?
    The fact is simply this: the law and its apparatuses are always on the side of government however bad.

  • dami

    90% wrong analyst kemi…they get away with it primarily cos they have immunity from prosecution have the power to appoint and pay the salaries of those that should normally prosecute them…e.g. state AG and judges.
    Let’s change this and the difference will be clear.

    • utolason

      It’s good to reflect deeply before responding to other people’s statement on important issues. Your point does not preclude other explanations for the docility of the electorate whose mandate is regularly stolen and their commonwealth looted. There are other ways electorates demonstrate their frustration other than waiting for leaders to vacate office before prosecution, which Kemi is talking about.

      • dami

        Let’s not skirt the issue
        The electorate also don’t want to embark on a wild goose chase…(as they have done in the past)
        So let’s assume they pay taxes and begin to ask where their tax naira is….is it a governor that has immunity that will answer them? Will the electorate have any remedy or recourse in law to enagage the governor? Can the AG do anything (without getting fired?) will judges give an objective judgment against he who is paying their salaries and holds their careers in his hand?
        Let’s not chase unicorns and expect results.