By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The Regional Director of Federal Inland Revenue, FIRS, in charge of North Central and FCT, Femi Faniyi, has described tax evasion syndrome in Nigeria as a cancer that has eaten deep into the fabric of the country.
Faniyi, who made the assertion during his visit to the state Board of Internal Revenue, service, SIRs, said unless Nigeria dealt with the syndrome on time, her aim of marching up with the developed countries would continue to be a mirage.
He also said there was need for the FIRs to collaborate with state Internal Revenue Services, SIRs, to checkmate the activities of tax evaders who hide under the state to evade paying taxes.
Faniyi said: “Tax evasion is a cancer that is tearing Nigeria apart. It is not a coincidence that developed countries like Norway, Denmark and others are moving forward inspite of the limited natural resources. It is on record that their development is hinged on tax payment.”
“Nigeria cannot continue to depend on oil for its development, aside from its (oil) dwindling fortune, it is also not alright to continue to evade tax and expect development. It is not oil that will developed Nigeria; it is the tax culture which must be revived for us to enjoy maximum benefit.”
Faniyi, who also said the paying culture of Nigeria on tax is just around 50 percent on average level, however, said the agency had brought in technology to address some of the situations.