7,500 graduates to be employed

Elizabeth Christopher, Abuja

Government plans to sponsor the recruits to become tax professionals.

In a bid to reduce unemployment and shore up Nigeria’s non oil revenue, the government is set to recruit 7,500 graduates to serve as Community Tax Liason officers.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun,  at a press briefing in Abuja, said the officers would be employed under the N-Power programme of the Buhari-led government.

Increasing tax payers
The recruits will be expected to go to schools, churches, mosques, markets and other social places to educate people on the tax system and let them know their obligations.

Through the initiative, the government expects to increase the number of tax payers by 35 percent, from 14 million to about 17 million in two years.

“We will be recruiting them through N-Power and they can apply through the website of the federal ministry of finance or through the N-Power website. They will be deployed to States, attached to State Internal Revenue Service or FIRS, their job is to improve the level of education on the Nigeria’s tax system,” Adeosun

Graduates of accounting, economics, mathematics and other relevant courses will be given priority under the programme.

Salary and incentives
Adeosun stated that that the recruits would be paid N30, 000 monthly and will receive performance-based incentives measured by the number of people they enrolled during the two-year period.

She, however, encouraged intelligent graduates interested in a career in tax administration to apply, as the government planned to sponsor the recruits to become tax professionals.

“This exercise is extremely important for the fiscal sustainability of States because as you know, most of the revenue for States apart from FAAC is supposed to come from tax.”

“So if we improved the number of taxpayers, we will be improving the fiscal health of our State governments as well as the federal government. It’s an important initiative for the nation as we undertake reforms to reduce our overdependence on oil.”

“We have to make sure that everyone who is economically active pays tax, no matter how little, they have to contribute to the pool,” she said.

The Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler reiterated that tax evasion was a punishable offence in the country.

He said that the tax tribunal was being reconstituted and encouraged citizens to be law abiding by paying their tax, as offenders would be prosecuted.

Sammie Idika