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Paying Taxes In Nigeria, Can It Improve The Economy?

I push forward the motion that paying taxes in Nigeria by Nigerians will have a positive Geometric Growth rate for the success of the Nigerian economy.

Why?

Over the years, the followership in Nigeria have greatly critized the leadership for alledged corruption and embezzlement of public funds which has adversely affected the growth of the economy, however, a larger percentage of the followership has done little or nothing to improve the situation which has made the leadership not only gather more strength and power to continue committing these alledged attrocities but also enough time to pass the mantle to their families and friend turning the Nigerian state to a family affair. But we all know talk is cheap, why have the followership only said this and that and have not really done much to fix the situation.

I am of the opinion that it's because the alledged embezzled fund was and still is free lunch, no man's property, that's why the followership have done little or nothing, the main source of income for Nigeria is from crude oil, which is a free natural resources. If however the funds embezzled belong to the people, there's a great tendency that they'll react more and fix the situation.

Case Study:

We all know the success of a country is directly connected to the success of its people. If in a particular Local Government Area (LGA), e.g. Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State, at least 95% of Nigerians in this LGA paid their taxes regularly. These levies are to be used to improve the economy of Ikeja (LGA), provide better health services, road and the basics and some crooked government official, say a councilor embezzled this funds which were contributions from each member of the LGA, there's a great tendency that, not only will he be charged to court by the citizenry of this LGA, but face a lot of jungle justice from the people which might include the burning down of his properties etc, which in a way tends to hold those in position of power accountable for their actions.

Do you think paying taxes in Nigeria can improve the Nigerian state?

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35 answers

Demola if you want to pay tax you should go and pay it. If you can pay mine with yours as well it will be well appreciated since you get too much money. Good luck. Oh,by the way can you pay for my G.friend as well?

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You don't get it,we can't be like Saudi Arabia because the circumstances are entirely different.Its like comparing a family of 4 making 11m Naira per annum to a family of 15 making 2m Naira.

Besides,I don't get this idea that Saudi Arabia is a model we want to copy.This country has a lower living standard than the average developed nation and is almost wholly dependent on the price of oil.A decade ago,per capita income was around $6k and unemployment topped 30%.

We have to broaden our source of revenue and any suggestion that the solution to our problem lies in remaining drunk on oil,exposed to the vicissitudes of oil prices,is simply obtuse.

In broadening our revenue base,its important that we have an efficient tax system with emphasis on low tax rates and an expansion of our tax payer's base.

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I shall accept no such thing. I am not dishonest in any way thank you. I am decent and fair in all my dealings, or at least I try my hardest to be. America taxes so much, yet cannot provide affordable health care for its citizens. One in seven Americans in uninsured, and those who are feel the pinch when insurance companies refuse to pay or when they have conditions that have to be treated outside their HMO. The tax dollars are on the other hand being used to fund a silly and pointless war that has gone on for how many years (5? ) now.

I am not a liar. Taxation will do Nigeria no good. And besides, why shouldn't we compare ourselves to Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia was built on the same oil money that Nigeria has. Granted their population is smaller, and they pump more, but with any considerable amount of oil money, Nigeria should be able to develop itself to a reasonable level (which is what is happening slowly by the way - go take a look at Abuja) without need for taxation.

Plus, I seriously doubt that there is any such term as "story-maker-upper". I think it's called "telling tales".

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Here is a task for you. List these so called Horrors of tazes in America you claim you know firsthand or accept you are just a DISHONEST NIGERIAN. A HUGE LIAR and story-maker-upper!!! LMAO!!!

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Comparing yourselves to Saudi Arabia is a tad silly - the only parallel is you both produce oil, but Saudi pumps almost 6 or 7 times as much oil with a MUCH SMALLER population so it can work for them. It CANNOT work for Nigeria because the oil revenue is insufficient to meet people's needs.

The issue of taxation is not the problem per se, unless of course, the fact that people pay taxes would make them be more demanding on their representatives and actually feel the money leaving their pockets and make them more interested in how those monies are spent. Aside from that, taxation revenues will help little, especially with the huge informal economy that will be difficult to properly tax.

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Please, I agree with OYB. Saudi does not pay tax. WHY can't we be like Saudi? America stinks jo. I've seen the horror of taxes in America firsthand, and by the way, those taxes will just be stole in Nigeria, so no thank you.

And anyway, the title of your thread is: Paying Taxes in Nigeria, Can It Improve The Economy? meaning that you are asking us whether we think it will help. We have told you that we don't think it will work. Either stop trying to shove your idea down our throats, or change the name of your thread.

Boom!

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@ 4Play. Spot on. I couldn't have said it better myself. It is a good idea but unworkable.

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Even Nigeria does the same "on behalf of it's people. I do agree with you that we need to break out of the vicious cycle. It is easy to become complacent, infact, I would venture to say that 98% of Nigerians are already living it and not until we break out of that need to be contented with rubbish can we get the life we want. Infact, we today have more and more Nigerians who believe in sitting and waiting for the same politicians that have failed them over and over to save them. Amazes me how, after all we have been through, we could still have people who believe that to be the way to go.

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oyb,

i can understand your cynicism. but then we need to break out of the vicious cycle somehow and no politician will do it for us of his own volition.

poster's idea is just one thing to be tried.

I guess the saudi govt. does not collect taxes (sometimes called royalties) from the oil companies there on behalf of its people?

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it is only those in salary employment and aspiring politicians that pay their taxes.There must be a change in attitude for our country to develop[color=#006600][/color]

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@ OYB,

I am not hear to convince you, its a waste of my time, because I doubt you will ever be convinced unless you see it work.

Unfortunately, most people who I have conversed with on nairaland have always had to feel defensive rather than constructive discussion, which might pick up one or two things from the other party.

If this thread don pass a few pages, and its only going round and round and round,  I go just waka.

If you have read my posts and comments above, and find the idea insteresting, and willing to go on an adventure that would help develop my great country Nigeria, please buzz me.

This is a local one on one thing, that has to do with our ward councillor thats why I asked for people residing in Ikeja. if you feel it's worth it, you can try it within your own neighbourhood too.

So, please, if there's anyone who might have bought into this, buzz me on damola@damola.com

I must say it'll take us years, because firstly, we might need to cover all loop wholes for embezzlement, as I dislike waste, and I wouldn't want one fool embezzling my hard earned dough, so, expect ideas like, we must know what comes into the accounts of the IKJ LGA cofers, how far our own cash can really influence, is there a need for us to ask the govt. to stop paying allocation to the LGA it's only affecting us negatively, etc, etc.

So, please, if you dey IKJ by any chance, buzz me.

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Finally, I am very glad that someone understands my perspective, thank God, thank you @ anonimi

However, I am still quite young, and still so many decades ahead, I won't ask for more than what I still asked for.

If you live anywhere around Ikeja, Lagos, and you buy into this idea, lets give it try, it might just be what we need or maybe not, however, no harm in trying, we will invest some money and time into it, maybe a few hours a week, and a certain % of our net income, write letters to LGA, state govt. and not get feedbacks, it'll be fun I bet you, but no harm in trying, maybe in a few years our own immediate environment can begin to enjoy the fruits of trying.

But I believe, as long as we continue to try and develop our ideas around the basic goal, this won't fail.

email me again; damola@damola.com

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just to bring y'all back. . .

Saudi Arabians don't pay tax.

and you can rest assured - their common services - education, electricity, potable water, law enforcement, defence of territorial integrity etc- without taxation (in whatever form)? etal are all working

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the poster's idea is very valid in as much as it is paid to the local authorities who pay a portion to the next level of government till the apex. this is not like what is happening with VAT, whereby Lagos collects e.g. 10b, Kano collects 2b, Enugu 1b and they share Lagos 5b, Kano 5b, Enugu 3b and this has nothing to do with Lagosians consent or not, get the drift?

this is what happened up to the invasion of the military in politics in 1966 and the QUALITY of life for everyone was much better than today despite the oil revenues.

as he said when you give money for a service/product, the PROBABILITY of your demanding accountability is greater than when you have not given any money. have you noticed how europeans & americans are generally more involved about their governance/politics than we are?

in today's naija, the government does not go after individual taxes vigorously because it is easier for them to collect the federal allocation. so if you ask the gorvernor or LG chair on infrastructures or manifesto promises, them fit respond say no be your money im dey spend. meanwhile he cannot receive any farthing but based on the population - i.e.you & i. Even yara cannot receive anything (taxes) from the oil companies if he does not have the mandate of the 140m nigerians, whether obtained by hook or crook.

you may say things are not that simple, however this mindset is the framework on which you can add other complexities & variables.

@ Seun,

you mind explaining how a society/community can provide common services -education, electricity, potable water, law enforcement, defence of territorial integrity etc- without taxation (in whatever form)?

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I do not expect everyone to buy into this idea.

But if you live in Ikeja, Lagos and buy into this idea, by the slightest chance, buzz me on damola@damola.com

Lets see how much we can try.

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I'm sorry, but I SHAN'T pay tax, and I will resist all motions for Nigerians to pay tax because we all know, that the tax money will go the same way the 300 million that was meant to develop NEPA and the power sector went. Nigerians work to hard to have their hard earned money siphoned off into a swiss account, with nothing to show for it on top.

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The success of our country as a whole is the individual contribution of each one of us.

Look around you, since you are in Lagos, how many people have actively contributed to development of our country by making sure it's well managed. Or would you leave your company funds at the mercy of your accountant without having an audit team cross check. And if those around you are active, how many of us in Lagos, compared to the political class have been actively involved in day to day running of our Government one way or the other, not simply being a dummy and following every instruction out of fear.

In developed countries a larger % of the people are involved in everything related to govt., everyone is a part of the system. Actively, NOT PASSIVELY.

I stand to be corrected, however I think Lagos is probably largest City in Nigeria with the highest number of civilised people.

You see, the emphasis on paying taxes simply relates how we react to money, we are very emotional about money,  which shouldn't be so, however we can use this emotional touch to develop ourselves. By paying taxes, on and on and on, as a social responsibility, not out of enforcement from the government, and I believe, the government wouldn't be so far from us as we still think, one day one day when you remember say you went to the bank to pay 10k into your LGA chairman's office account, and the next morning , you heard he embezzeled 100M and he's currently on a show live on Channels TV to defend himself, out of patriotism you wouldn't stop paying, rather you will drive down to channels and punch him in the face. I am sure the next one that comes in , will not only be thoroughly checked, but also be afraid of the mob of educated doctors and lawyers and engineers who have suddenly become punchers.

Thats how far money can push us. Develop our nation!

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While you are busy scheming good stuff for the country are you also aware that the same local government chairman is filling his pocket with federal allocation? Just like one person has said,you dont hold someone accountable by throwing more money at them. These guys are in government to embezzle government funds and nothing else. If i may ask,did you vote?

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The watch word here is simply: Accountability.

Where there is no applied penalty for broken laws, there's chaos and flaunting of rules and regulations.

No one can hold those above us in position of power responsible for their decisions and actions better than the followership, and we should try as much as possible to understand the basics of my motion.

Holding people that manage our monies responsible for their actions.

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I am being sarcastic, for goodness' sake!

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Is_lamics never cease to amaze me with the totalitarian and autocratic disposition

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I'm already paying way too much tax, dont see how that has improved my life

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i pay tenement rate.

the nepa bill can be considered a tax - but what will any display of craze yield ? enter the darkness!

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Thank you.

I am not absolutely sure about the statistics, however, it seems to me, there are more runs, i.e. business people/traders in Lagos than employees.

1. Tax clearance is a joke, I can get that with 5k for the past 4yrs from alausa.

2. You were forced to pay taxes, you did not do it out of will and see a need to and a duty, therefore you don't know exactly how it might affect you or buy into the idea, finally, you probably paid it to Lagos, I am talking about paying taxes to those that you can easily access like your LGA councillor who might happen to live in the next street, not some govt. pocket of Lagos state, it'll be madness to expect you can hold fashola to ransom, but it'll make a lot of sense that you hold Mr. Owokoniran, councillor of Ward B, IKeja LGA area responsible for the tax you paid last week, and not just by you, but by a collective effort from all the people living on your street, because he promised that 3 months into coming to the post, he would make sure you have street lights or consistent water. A team, a collective effort, could work.

3. It's actually the that I am after, you see once you see it as a responsibility to do so willingly, out of your own patrotism to develop the economy and pay into the pocket of the ward in your own LGA where you belong, I am positive that your craze will come into action when you hear he embezzled 50M of which 100 of your types who have willingly paid to his pocket will hold him responsible for, I won't doubt the judiciary for one min. to send him to a jail term if you can prove he's actually a crook.

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paying taxes , as far as i'm concerned is simply adding more  fuel to the fire of embezzlement

i pay tax. (direct deduction from my salray) a lot of lagosians do

theres even a new tax initiative- you must have tx clearance before you can get anything done.

but this is the issue - paying taxes is simply giving elected officials more money to steal . do you think they will handle taxes any differently from the way they handled federal govt allocations?

we all pay phcn bills- even if we have no light for 3 months straight. paying those bills has not enforced any sort of accountability with PHCN.

the simple paying of money to a danfo conductor is no guarantee that you will get to where you are going. the 'contract' does not enforce any sort of accountability on the part of the driver or the conductor - unless it is backed with 'my craze pass your own'

this is naija. more people than you know pay tax already. contractors pay 5% vat on their projects. workers in multinationals or moderately large companies all pay taxes.

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Almost every single response have more or less tagged the idea as ideal and not feasible.

2.  @ looters, the goal of the entire process is to flush out corruption and develop the economy. It might take time though, but it's possible with the right frame of mind. I don't think anyone would appreciate wastage of resources, especially one that has been directly linked to you as a person.

3. @ seun, I am not sure where you got the facts from that taxation and regulation slows down the economy, but I know one thing, that the countries we wish to be as rich as like USA, UK, France have a sound tax system, therefore it might simply be the path to success, nothing wrong to learn from the masters, besides, have you ever heard an american journalist or citizen accuse the government without linking it to "Tax Payers money". I mean, IRAQ war cost America not only lives but billions of dollars which has been attributed to tax payer's money, the citizen's money, my money, therefore they have all the right in the world to express their anger at them.

Maybe, maybe not,  almost every new idea or unusual idea has been seen as not feasible anyway. I will leave time to judge that.

Buying into the idea is the key, a campaign among like minds who believe it could work if they try it within their neighbourhood, and eventual campaign and push further to others in their neighbourhood could create a change. It'll take time but I have a strong believe it's feasible. very feasible, only it must start with those that believe.

Do you think as a Nigerian  living in Nigeria you can buy into this idea, if not, why not?

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why should current tax rates be reduced??

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@Poster, I believe your idea is a good one in the ideal world. There have been situations in the past where local governments have tried such on small scale and for the most part, proved to be successful, only that in the end, the nigerian factor ( corruption) has always come in to destroy all the good. I do believe that people need to be cajoled into paying taxes as way to get them to take it upon themselves to ensure that government is working for and in their interest but I believe with the current state of things in that country, there is a lot that we need to deal with to create an environment where that sort of model will work well.

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Current tax rates should probably be reduced and then enforced to the letter, so the government will function better, but there's a difference between the government and the economy.

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@Seun

I think his core idea is that taxation improves accountability.If people are made to pay taxes,they will be more keen to rise up to their responsibility to hold Govt to account.

The Govt in turn will be more responsive to the citizens' needs since,unlike with oil revenue,a lot of the money coming into Govt coffers will come from the pockets of citizens.

It sounds good in theory but unworkable in practice.Many Nigerians don't pay taxes,not because we are not required to pay,but because the system is so dysfunctional that the tax-collection system has broken down.Tax avoidance is the norm ,thus,the idea is unworkable.

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Taxation may help if it is properly maintained but due to the enormous amount of looters in power. .

I don't think it would work. . .even if it's being deposited directly into govt bank account. . .

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Taxation may help the poor and less privileged indirectly, but it definitely slows down the economy.

It's a well known fact that taxes and regulations slow down the economy. Not debatable.

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My comments are directed to an economy driven to success by the followership.

Paying into direct govt. Bank account solves the problem you have simply posted.

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Of course it can improve the economy of the country, but due to the greedy tax-collectors who would rather divert a larger percentage into their private accounts, nothing much as been done about improving the so called economy.

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