Taxing Nigeria

Most of Nigeria’s public officials are jokers in the way they present their ideas to the public. Often times, it is half-baked, they don’t feel any obligations to explain their plans as to how they plan to lessen the effect of the new plan on the population. The sad part is that, they usually get away with it because theirs is one way radio.

Nigeria is looking for ways to generate more income but they are not willing to do anything differently that will benefit citizens.

Mr. Tunde Fowler, Federal Inland Revenue Service boss is the latest joker by hinting that Nigerians will soon be asked to present their tax certificate if they require a passport. How does that even make any sense?

So the best way to get people to pay taxes is when they intend to leave the country? Most people only get their passport if they intend to travel out of the country otherwise there really is no point wasting money on a piece of booklet.

This man is a joker because if we put the number of Nigerians needing passports in context, it is very small compared to the number of Nigeria adults that the government needs to convince to pay their fair share to taxation.

“These things are normal all over the world and it would help us to serve Nigerians and Nigeria better.” Mr Fowler

First of all this statement from Mr Fowler is not accurate – I am not sure which ‘world’ Mr Fowler was referring here. This is the type of rubbish they furnish Nigerians with just because of the few years he spent working/studying in the States, Mr Fowler would have to name that country that requires tax certificate before issuing their citizens travel documents.

Second of all, no, people like this coming with insane proposition such as this don’t work to better Nigeria. If one wants to better Nigeria, it should not be that hard to highlight what the new tax will be used for – recurrent expenditure? I think so too.

He can advise the government to cut spending on luxuries – that is serving Nigeria better.

Given the bottom line is to increase tax revenues, one would have thought the goal should be to increase the number of adult tax payers in the country rather than going after the small unrealistic target.

If Nigerians in a few months have to show tax clearance for overseas travel documents, rest assured that Nigeria passport offices around the country now will start issuing tax certificate at a price – the money will not reach the government, leaving Fowler to pick another target.

Categories: Nigeria, Politics

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18 replies

  1. This is interesting in the light of what I’ve seen about the economy.

    I saw this clip, which initially left me with a slightly positive outlook (a fresh face with a fresh message).

    Then I saw this, which to me is honest and accessible. The esteemed academic Prof Utomi, spells it out clearly that Nigeria is not in a position to escape recession. The ruling class be they civilian or military are not serious.

    Your piece highlighting the flawed thinking behind schemes proposed by the elite and the lack of transparency tends to confirms Prof Utomi’s assertions/observations. The real basic decisions on clarity, discipline coupled with communication are lacking, so the recession will continue for sometime to come. The economic climate is now a lot more harsher and Nigeria was not prepared to take advantage of it when the trading environment was a lot more liberal, what will happen when the same slackness approaches a favourable economic climate?

    My respect for Prof Utomi continues to rise. We need more like him.

    Thank you FK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks jco.

      To be honest I just kind of waka past Mrs Adeosun’s speech now as I often don’t get the sense that she has ever walked through the streets or even pay attention to everyday people. I believe she is being overly cautious of not upsetting anyone which makes her speech sounds like someone talking about Mars.

      I totally agree with Prof Utomi and I like the fact that he said this recession started long ago for most Nigerians – this is the point that I have raised before even with my own family pointing to specific events to show how many of our people have being ‘down’ for a long time. To see this clearly is to look at Nigerian public pry and sec schools, roads and hospitals – many people have it so bad.

      Also, I like what the Prof said about lack of strategy on how the 30B$ loan was to be spent – we all know this but people tend to think the investors are daft enough to just give money anyhow to a nation with records of luxurious homes in the west and quick to default on loan at home. Just this evening I read about a HoR guy from Kano who got a loan of 130M naira at GTB within 36hrs of writing them – the only collateral he has was that he is a member of HoR, now the bank is exposing his backside because he has stopped repayment for the last 3months – the first question I had was how on earth does he even get approval for this much money? The guy got the loan with 19%int rate to repay another loan from a different bank and a little more to live above his salary!


      • Thanks for the reply,
        About the recession having started long ago, I remember the case you brought to light about the hike in fuel and it’s effects on the economy. The poor state of basic amenities, which has been the case for a long time.
        What he said about the $30billion loan, I agree with. There are many other nations that have leap-frogged Nigeria and make a far more attractive investment case. (Nigeria is the only MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey – that has failed to qualify as a member of the G20). Yet the elite think they are doing the world a favour by borrowing money, only to wait a decade to beg to have it canceled for ‘good governance, accountability and infrastructure’). They got away with it before people are now wise to that.
        The case of the Kano rep, being given preferential treatment – highlights the fact that those in charge are not serious about turning the situation around. So the snappy headlines that the nation is turning the corner will no longer wash, but yet indifference continues…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry, I forgot to add that such preferential treatment that was provided to the Kano rep, was not appreciated it was taken for granted and abused as he defaulted on the loan with no qualms. It appears he felt he was entitled to it. Entitlement only goes so far, things need to be re-examined and tightened up.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for calling out Nigerian leaders’ outrageous solutions to real problems. What a notion… and to propel his proposal with lies (or ignorance) is just shameful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Thanks for this, Folakemi.

    It is, to say the least, a hair-brained idea like most that Nigerian govt officials usually dream up without giving it much thought.

    As you’ve rightly wondered aloud, where, in the world, did or has Tunde Fowler found a govt thay ambushes its citizens with no-tax returns, no-passport?

    It would be interesting to know how far-flung Fowler has cast his revenue-chasing net to know if he’s really going after those who should be pursued: farmers, especially large-scale landholders, cattle-owners and their herdsmen, churches, mosques, husbands and wives who need to obtain birth certificates for their children, et cetera.

    The point that needs stressing is this: where are the evidences of the judicious uses of taxes collected as most monies collected end up in the pockets and bank accounts of those at the top in various govt agencies.

    Evidences physically abound all over Nigeria where men and women on salaries live lives way above lives of successful business people.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mrs Adenle for reblog and comment. Mr Fowler, I bet thought this was the same age where they just talk whatever they wanted and reference the ‘west’ as if the west was heaven.

      Ha, thank you for mentioning religious centres especially, where else could anyone have profit big enough to acquire aircraft but are exempt from taxes? The herdsmen can not be asked as they are equipped with axes so they had to keep frustrating lives of few people who just happen to have a little more.

      Thank you on the civil servants, it is only in Nigeria that being a civil servant is synonymous to having several homes both in and out of the country.


  4. You’re right Fola, the matter of acquiring a pass port has nothing to do with ones taxes in Canada or the US( I believe).

    Liked by 1 person

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