The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari has disclosed that the agency would soon embark on a social media campaign to enlighten Nigerians on the importance of tax to the government.
Dr Abari made this known at a joint press conference with the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS), on a National Sensitization and Advocacy Campaign to Encourage Tax Awareness and Compliance.
“In the face of the rising cost of governance and dwindling national revenue, there is a compelling need to increase tax awareness and encourage voluntary tax compliance, so as to shore up national revenues to enable governments at various levels to meet up with increasing demands for investment in various aspects of our national economy.
“It is against this backdrop, and in the light of the mandate of the National Orientation Agency to sensitize and re-orientate the Nigerian public on government policies, programmes and activities that we are partnering with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to carry out a nationwide campaign on Tax Awareness and Tax Compliance.
“As part of activities involved in the implementation of this task, the National Orientation Agency is working with FIRS to arrange a capacity building session for National Orientation Agency Sate Directors in the 36 States and FCT along with their Programme Heads as well as Departmental Directors and their Deputies at the National Headquarters.
“The purpose of this capacity building session which will be rendered by the FIRS is to capacitate NOA Staff across the country for the task ahead.
“We shall also very shortly commence a social media campaign to evolve a citizen-driven tax slogan to encourage tax compliance under our #4abetternigeria campaign.
“This will involve the submission of short video skits by members of the public on the benefits of paying tax as at when due and then ending with a proposed citizen tax slogan. A winning slogan will then be selected and rewarded. This slogan will then be popularized via social media.” Dr Abari said.
The NOA boss further stated that every State Directorate of the Agency, working with FIRS officials in each of the six geo-political zones will also carry out motorized campaigns around commercial areas to engage business enterprises on the need to pay tax.
He said the national campaigns will also feature advocacy visits to Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders and Opinion moulders with a view to working with them to encourage their members to comply with the provisions of our laws on tax compliance.
“The National Orientation Agency will work with FIRS to produce flyers carrying this information so that it is at the reach of every Nigerian who falls within the tax payment bracket”, he added.
The Director of Communications and Liaison Department, Dr Ismail Abdullahi who represented the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said tax is an important component of the political economy of any nation, and the nation cannot afford to take it with levity.
He said “there is a need for citizens to have reorientation on how they see taxes, that is to understand that taxes are not forced collections by the government, but instead, contributions citizens make towards the development of their country.
“As such, no country can develop without the citizens contributing to that process through taxes. The government needs revenue to fund its developmental initiatives. The government is in need of resources to provide development for the country’s citizens.”
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