The Emir of Ilesha Baruba Prof Halilu Abubakar has described a tax payer has a responsible person, who sees taxation as a statutory obligation levied for development of the community and described tax evasion as crime that should be treated rigorously.
Prof Abubakar stated this during an interview with KWAREVE NEWS team in his palace at Ilesha Baruba, Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State. He said “taxation is not a new phenomenon; it has been in existence during the colonial era, and there is no distinct difference in tax collection now and how it used to be but the process has changed. It is just that those taxes were not exploited but they existed inside the books”.
The Emir added that in terms of tax administration and effort, the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) has brought a dynamic approach characterized with result orientation and professionalism in the discharge of her duties.
The Emir of Ilesha Baruba lamented on neglect of taxes during Nigeria oil wealth boom which resulted to the country’s loss of tax consciousness and taxes were not charged on people, properties and goods appropriately.
Responding to a question on role of tax in nation building, Prof Halilu Abubakar highlighted 3 roles of taxation in the society as; the revenue generation, income redistribution and economic stabilization. He said there is a need to close the gap between the rich and the poor by taxing the poor less and rich more. He further stated that these monies can be used to provide basic infrastructure for the people resident in the State. Also for economic stability, Prof Abubakar said when there is inflation, some certain goods could be taxed to stabilize the economy.
“This is the right time for KW-IRS to operate because there is no other better time but one like this when oil revenue is not sufficient, Government needs money to pay salaries and embark on developmental projects; there is no other way of achieving this but through taxes” he said.
Prof Halidu I. Abubakar is a Professor of Economics, the Emir of Ilesha Baruba and the Chairman of Harmony Holdings, Kwara State.