Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerians to pay taxes to facilitate the development of the economy.
Obasanjo, however, said a responsible government must judiciously spend the tax collected from their citizens.
The former president was speaking in Lagos where he chaired the launch and public presentation of a book titled ‘A Review of Effective Tax Regime in Nigeria’, written by former Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunde Ogunsakin.
Ogunsakin was a member of the Presidential Task Force on Education Tax Funds (1999 – 2000), also known as the Federal Government Panel on Education Tax, which was constituted by Obasanjo.
He regarded tax evasion as a crime, because it is a major source of revenue of governments to drive the economy
Obasanjo, however, noted that one of the major challenges is that Nigeria does not know how much tax it is losing.
“According to the author, tax avoidance is legal but tax evasion is both criminal and civil. The African Union reported that it loses $50 billion per year from tax revenue. In Nigeria, we have not been able to determine how much we lose from tax revenue annually,” he said.