The moral right of citizens to demand accountability from government on what their taxes have been used for, is dependent on when citizens have themselves heeded to their civil obligations to pay taxes.
This was the position of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami during the unveiling of the FIRS Service Charter on Tuesday in Abuja.
Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola in a statement Fridaay in Abuja said, Mr. Nami, while delivering the opening remarks at the unveiling, which was one of the events hosted by the Service in commemoration of the 2022 Global Customer Service Week, called on citizens to be fair to the government by paying their taxes, noting that this was the pathway to the country’s civilisation.
According to the statement, Nami said, “Nigerians should be fair to the government,” he stated. “We must start to trust the Government. Nigerians must also understand that tax is a statutory responsibility and they should pay their taxes.”
Mr. Nami further stated that “Globally, tax is a social contract between government and its citizens. It is when citizens fulfil their obligations that they have moral rights to ask government to account for taxes they pay. Nigerians are expected to understand that globally citizens pay for their own civilization; as most infrastructures and privileges in advanced countries are made possible by the revenue generated through the taxes their citizens pay to the government.”
He also appealed to governments at the Federal, State and Local Government levels to give value to citizens for the money they pay as taxes.
On the occasion of the Global Customer Service Week, Mr. Nami noted that the Week aligned with one of his four-cardinal objectives for the FIRS, that is making the Service a “Customer-centric institution”. He noted that the FIRS had taken steps and actions to institutionalise effective and efficient service delivery to all its stakeholders.
The CEO of SERVICOM Presidency, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli who delivered the keynote address at the unveiling commended the FIRS for being one of the agencies of government that was committed to providing value to taxpayers.
The Global Customer Service Week is a week-long international celebration that calls attention to the importance of customer service and the people that provide it with a view to boosting morale and teamwork.