The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Ikeja and District Society, has urged governments to imbibe and display the culture of accountability and transparency in administration and utilisation of tax income.
In a statement, the tax body said corruption was responsible for the low income from tax in the country.
The Chairman, CITN, Ikeja and District Society, Mr Funso Abidakun, said this at the 2021 annual tax lecture in Ikeja, Lagos.
The statement said the event with the theme, ‘The effects and implications of the new finance Act 2020 on the Nigerian economy’, was organised annually to enlighten the tax-paying public of their obligations.
It said the lecture was delivered by a financial expert, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, who is a fiscal policy partner and Africa tax leader.
Participants at the event included tax practitioners, tax administrators and members of the public, according to the statement.
The research showed that the local governments and their officials were among the most untrustworthy, followed by the state governments and the tax officials, the statement said.
While condemning the apathy on payment of taxes, he said figures available revealed that there were 20 million registered taxpayers in the country, which was low compared to the country’s population of nearly 200 million people.
He attributed the trend to distrust when it came to paying taxes, dues and levies to a government that did not command the public trust.
Abidakun urged governments, especially the state governments, to correct the ills that were denying the country of its collectible revenues from taxes, by showing justification for taxes being collected and change the sour tax narrative in the polity as well as fight corruption holistically in the tax system.