The executive arm of the Federal Government of Nigeria disclosed that government agency; institutions will recruit not less than 7,500 youth graduates as Community Tax Liaison Officers to raise tax awareness among citizens.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, along with the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Baba Tunde Fowler at a joint press briefing on Thursday in FCT, Abuja.
Finance Minister disclosed that the recruits would be engage, expose, empower and expected to go to schools, churches, mosques, markets and other social places to educate people on the tax system and enlighten the general public on tax issues and citizens duties towards government.
It was further said that through this tax awareness initiative, the federal government expected to increase the number of taxpayers by 35 percent from 14 million to about 17 million in two years.
“We will be recruiting them through N-Power and they can apply through the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance or through the N-Power website.
“It’s a two-year fixed contract and they will be deployed to states, attached to state Internal Revenue Service or FIRS.
“Their job is to improve the level of education on the Nigeria’s tax system.
“Our tax system is progressive, meaning those who earn less should pay less and those who earn more should pay more.
“A lot of people don’t know that. So it’s a chance to get people on ground to answer all these pertinent questions,” she said.
Adeosun said that graduates of accounting, economics, mathematics and other relevant courses would be given priority under the programme.
She, however, encouraged intelligent graduates interested in a career in tax administration to apply as the government planned to sponsor the recruits to become tax professionals.
“This exercise is extremely important for the fiscal sustainability of states because as you know, most of the revenue for states apart from FAAC is supposed to come from tax.
“So if we improved the number of taxpayers, we will be improving the fiscal health of our state governments as well as the Federal Government.
“It’s an important initiative for the nation as we undertake reforms to reduce our over-dependence on oil.
“We have to make sure that everyone who is economically active pays tax, no matter how little, they have to contribute to the pool,” she said.
On the remuneration, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said the recruits would be paid N30, 000 monthly and they stood to receive performance-based incentives measured by the number of people they enrolled during the two-year period.
The FIRS chairman reiterated that tax evasion was a punishable offence in the country.
He said that the tax tribunal was being reconstituted as tax dodgers would be prosecuted.
Fowler encouraged citizens to be law abiding and pay their tax.