Amidst the nation’s dwindling economy, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has lamented that the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to remit any revenue into the federation’s account since the beginning of this year has put many states into severe financial distress.
El-Rufai raised the concern at the 2022 Tax Dialogue organised by the Kaduna State Revenue Service held in the state capital on Monday.
He said the federal and state governments now rely on revenues and taxes generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigerian Customs Service for survival.
According to him, the situation has led to the inability of most states to pay salaries and fulfil their social contract to citizens.
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Also speaking at the event, the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami emphasised the importance of tax dialogue as a tool for engendering tax compliance and a means of strengthening tax systems.
While emphasising the importance of dialoguing on tax payment, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh also stressed the need for inclusivity, fairness and pooling expert ideas to aid tax policy formulation and administration.
According to them, tax authorities must create effective communication and trust strategies and also ensure taxpayers receive value for taxes paid, which are the two key drivers of voluntary tax compliance.
Last month, El-Rufai said the Federal Government has failed in the oil and gas business and should get out of the sector.
He said nothing has changed with the commercialisation of the NNPP in July 2022, adding that NNPC is Nigeria’s biggest problem and should be privatised.
“This year, NNPC has not brought N20,000 to the federation account. We are living on taxes. It is PPTs, royalties, income tax and VAT that is keeping this country going because NNPC claims that subsidy has taken all the oil revenues. I don’t believe it,” El-Rufai noted.