N-Power: Government considers 7,500 graduates as tax officers
• Mulls increase of taxpayers to 17 million
• Raises tribunals to try evaders
The Federal Government is to recruit 7,500 graduates as tax officers under its N-Power empowerment programme to drive Nigeria’s revenue inflow.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, stated yesterday in Abuja during a media chat that the move was aimed at shoring up revenue collection in the face of dwindling oil receipts, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was mulling scaling up the 14 million tax-payer net to 17 million in the next two years.
According to her, the successful applicants, who are on a job tenor of two years, would get a N35,000 monthly stipend. She explained that the beneficiaries would be deployed in churches, mosques, shops, hotels and other strategic places to educate Nigerians on prompt payment of tax.
Her words: ‘’They are not tax collectors per se because the role of the community liaison officers are not to collect tax but they are going into churches and mosques to clarify the tax system. Their job is to educate. They are not collecting tax neither are they assessing people for and computing tax. ‘’
On effective monitoring of the scheme, Adeosun disclosed that a barometer had been put in place, adding that the overriding mission remains that most Nigerians were aware of their civil duty of paying tax as when and where due.
According to her, government was scouting for professionals and people with the requisite skills to drive home the objectives of programme. She went on: ‘’But if we find people that are bright from other discipline or other areas who show attitude, they will be enrolled and after they have the initial training, they will have a follow up training. The idea is that those who qualify will be sponsored on tax examination and career.”
The chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, noted that tax tribunals were being reconstituted to try evaders.