ActionAid Nigeria, an international NGO, has called on the Federal Government to adopt progressive taxation to reduce the level of poverty in the country.
Mr Adeduntan Adewale, Manager, Social Mobilisation of the NGO, made the call in an interview on Saturday in Abuja.
He observed that there was no relationship between tax payers and the taxes they paid, adding that the taxes do not work for them and the poor are at the receiving end.
“The way to go is for the government to adopt progressive taxation. A tax administration that will lift people out of poverty and enhance better quality life.
“Government should ensure that those who earn high, pay high and vice versa.
“Also, those who enjoy unnecessary tax holidays should be made to pay to the last decimal.
“Leakages, as much as possible, should be blocked in the tax administration.
“Such system could go a long way in reducing the level of poverty in the country, in the sense that taxes collected from multinationals and wealthy people are used to provide the necessary facilities for the people.
“Tax administration should also be in such a way that is very convenient for people to pay. I realise that when Nigerians know that their taxes are being properly utilise, they are going to queue up and pay.
“But people might be reluctant to pay, because they cannot see any correlation between the taxes being paid and the social services being rendered by government.
“Look at our roads, you waste many hours plying roads to your office, business centre and home. Look at the gullies and crevices on our highways.
“It is not too bad if you get your vehicle damaged; some people have paid the ultimate price; they have lost their lives, some are living with permanent injury or disability today,’’ he said.
According to Adewale, these are happening because the taxes people pay do not work for them.
He explained that the best way to go was to block leakages and ensure that people outside of the tax bracket were made to fall within.
“Whatever monies that we make out of the taxation process should be used judiciously. The problem with Nigeria is that we have good policies, but implementation is the challenge.
“Possible enforcement of the policies we have from taxation should be upheld to ensure we have a tax administration that works for all,” Adewale said.