Experts have called for increased advocacy and sensitisation of Nigerians on the importance of paying tax while there must be greater efforts to punish tax defaulters.
Stakeholders say many people willfully evade paying tax because there has been little deterrence for offenders.
They spoke in Lagos on Monday during the inauguration of the Association of Nigerian Taxation Students (ANTAS) by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).
A taxation expert, Prof. Sanni Abiola, SAN, of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, while delivering a lecture, said tax education remains a critical building to evolving an effective tax culture, adding, “This is a national ideal and policy.”
He stated that tax clubs in tertiary institutions should be strengthened with strong institutional support to serve as a veritable platform for entrenchment of an enduring tax culture.
Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo of the Department of Accounting and Finance, Lead City University lamented that people don’t want to pay tax because they felt nothing would happen.
This, according to him, explains while Nigeria has continued to record one of the lowest tax compliance levels in Africa.
Represented by Prof. J.A Adejuwon called for effective tax advocacy and continuous enlightenment towards evolving an effective and efficient tax system.
On his part, a Council member of CITN, Prof. Godwin Oyedokun highlighted factors affecting tax compliance to include personal decision not to comply with tax obligation, high tax burdens on the taxpayers, financial condition of individuals, among others.
President of CITN, Adesina Adedayo said the inauguration of the students’ body was to build a generation of taxpayers, noting the students must be carried along.
“This will dovetail into having a clear understanding of what tax is all about. There are some people that despite their education, they find it difficult to pay tax and the reasons behind paying tax.
“It is a well-known fact that the youth of any country is a great asset and they are the future. It is imperative to acknowledge the role of youths in nation-building and support them to drive positive change in the world. Therefore, there is no better time to form this Association bearing in mind that Taxation is a distinct course and we must develop the tax profession.”