By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja- With a view to having a robust base to support its programmes, the Federal government has projected an increase in the number of tax payers by 35 per cent from the current 14 million to 17 million and beyond within the next two years through the N-Power Community Tax Liaison Officers(CTLOs).
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun who disclosed this in Abuja while briefing news men, said with the tax to GDP ratio of only 6 per cent, one of the lowest in the world and 14 Million tax payers out of 69.6 Million economically active people (20%), there is a lot of work to be done in creating awareness and bringing people into the tax system.
She further noted that the government will be recruiting up to 7,500 Community Tax Liaison Officers(CTLOs) through the N-Power Program who will be deployed nationwide and can be found in public places such as Markets, Schools, Churches, Mosques, Airports, within a community with a job to increase the level of education about the tax system and increase the number of tax payers.
According to her; “A very good tax system works when a lot of people pays, if every body pays a little, it comes to a lot and as the tax system is progressive which means that those who earn less should pay less and those who earn more should pay more. So we think there is a major national education on the tax system that is needed so we will be recruiting these young graduates under N-Power who are able to apply through the Npower website.
“All CTLOs undergo intensive training comprising of classroom learning, case studies, role play and on the field learning. Their training is comprehensive and covers the tax system, sales, marketing, and customer services. CTLOs are offered a two (2) year fixed term contract with performance based incentives as well as the opportunity to be sponsored to pursue professional tax examinations if they qualify” she announced.
Adeosun further described a CTLO as a young Nigerian graduate who has been trained and deployed to a community to raise awareness and educate citizens at all levels on the tax system in Nigeria.
She listed the expectations from the CTLOs to include:Increase tax awareness to raise compliance; Educate all citizens on the tax system;Tax outreach to increase the number of tax payers and Enrol new tax payers, adding that they are not expected to assess people for tax purposes or collect taxes on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Minister urged Nigerian graduates between the ages of 18 and 35, to apply to become CTLOs through the N-Power website at www.npower.gov.ng under the tab, “N-power Tax” for full eligibility requirements.