By Victor Habila, Kaduna
The Tax Justice Network, Christian Aid and other partners said they would collaborate to ensure that taxes generated in Kaduna State were used in the service of the people.
The organisations said that the tax for service initiative was to promote progressive tax systems in the state.
Dr Saied Tafida, a member of the Tax Justice Network Steering Committee, made the disclosure at the opening of Kaduna State Tax Perception Survey Validation Meeting, in Kaduna on Thursday.
He explained that the survey was commissioned by the Tax Justice Network, funded by Christian Aid Nigeria, with support from UK’sForeign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
He noted that the survey was to understand the challenges faced by citizens regarding the several tax reforms undertaken in the state and broaden conversation on domestic resource mobilisation.
Tafida stressed that the survey was also to generate discussions around social accountability in respect of utilisation of resources.
This, according to him, will entrench tax for service and tax justice to ensure equity and fair tax administration in the state.
“What we want is tax systems that generate sufficient public revenue while ensuring equitable redistribution by rebalancing economic and gender inequalities.
“The meeting, therefore, was to present the perception survey report, get observations from stakeholders and come up with agreements and plan on how to achieve the recommendations from the survey.”
Also speaking, Mr Arokoyo Victor, Senior Programme Coordinator, Policy and Advocacy, Christian Aid, said that the organisation believes that people should not live in poverty.
Victor stressed that tax justice was key in ensuring equity in tax administration, so that people would not be pushed into poverty due to unjust tax systems.
According to him, poverty will persist if communities are deprived of their fair share of state wealth.
Mr Abel Adejor, State Team Lead, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), said that citizen awareness and engagement would significantly improve the state tax administration system.
Adejor said that PERL had been working to ensure that citizens understand the tax system and engage in the processes for better service delivery.
The executive Chairman, Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service, Dr Zaid Abubakar, thanked stakeholders for their efforts to strengthen equity in tax administration system.
Abubakar said that the revenue agency was interested in evidence-based research that would improve tax service delivery in an equitable manner.
“The findings from this research will give us an insight on the taxpayers perception and guide us on how to improve our services, revenue collection and tax for service.
“This, in the long run, will help us achieve our N100 billion Internally Generated Revenue target in 2024,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Kelvin Iweluegim, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at E-Tag Expert Resource Ltd., the firm that conducted the survey, said that the study was conducted between January and March.
Iweluegim said that the coverage included 40 respondents in Jema’a, 40 in Kaduna South and 41 in Lere LGAs, of which 66 per cent were male and 34 per cent female.