Dwindling Tax Revenue : Govt Officials have their Own Receipts-Prof. Olagoke

Prof sabitu olagoke 2Reports indicate that the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Abba Kyari, sought explanations from the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr, Babatunde Fowler, over the unimpressive tax revenue from 2015 to 2018.

However, Nigerians have continued to groan under the multiple taxation policy of the Federal Government, even as they insist that the activities of the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) should be thoroughly scrutinized. 

In April nine senior officials of the FIRS, mostly from the finance and accounts department including its Director, were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) for diverting N6 billion tax funds that were supposed to be remitted to the coffers of government.

In this interview, the Founder Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the fact that government officials have their own receipts, negatively affects revenue generation. Exceprts :

The Federal Government has expressed worries over the dwindling revenue from taxes, what do you think is wrong ?

Nigeria became worse under the civilian regime, than under the military for two major reasons : under the civilian rule, privileges are always accompanied with abuse, coupled with daylight collaborations, even to cheat in government.

The issue of discipline has not been addressed in most civilian regimes. Discipline that ensures that the citizens do the right thing.

Perhaps,. because our institution of Democracy is always accompanied with no due process and various maneuvers to constitute the executive, legislature and even in the appointment of Judges at all levels.

This is why poverty indices and tax evasions accompanied with various corrupt practices are always on the increase.


With a direct consequence on government’s poor performance in the areas of the provision of basic amenities for the people, employment and functional infrastructure. The poor signal of virtual independence challenge of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and the Judiciary alos contribute a lot in the areas fo regulation and control.

Under the such a situation, the whole Nigeria and every sector of the economy wallow in them murky waters of endemic corruption that will never allow us to meet our budgetary targets.

Apart from the foregoing, salary structure of the civil servants, most especially at the state level, is appalling and to meager to sustain the average Nigeria worker. This is another source of challenge that would ever facilitate the thriving of corrupt practices.

Successive governments till date, have not been able to explain the reason why there is disparity in the wages of the state workers and that of their counterparts at the Federal level.

When issue of social justice is to be considered, bearing in mind, that we all visit the same market to buy and sell for survival.

Equally, government is yet to justify the jumbo pay of the political class, which is on the very high side, when compared to that of the civil servants.

Are these not established channels to to support corrupt practices in the land ?

It is on record that political office holders were once members of the civil societies, little wonder then, that they feel comfortable without any concern for the poor remuneration of the civil servants.

However, if these defects are not corrected in good time, the efforts of the anti-graft agencies will never meet the expectations of the government and people alike.

It is also on record, that in all tiers of government, Local, State and Federal, some officials, low or high, do have personal receipts which are always carbon copies of the ones government issues.

This is why we have been having cases of workers on Grades levels 04 to 06 in government service, having fleet of cars and several mighty structures, kept in secret with fictitious names.

The question now is, why is it that government operatives always fail to discover this kind of sharp practices, before the thieves complete their projects ?

Why is it also, that offenders judgments, are always delayed and in most cases, influenced by nepotism and ethnicity to bail them out ?

Lack of punitive measures for offenders is dangerous and would continue to make corrupt practices very attractive to those who believe in material things while shunning decency and exemplary lifestyles.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service needs to be properly scrutinized and the outcome made public.

The nine FIRS officials arrested not long ago, is an indictment of the service and an affront to the executive.

The government will therefor, do Nigerians a great favor through be thorough, firm and blunt to be able to use the case of this government agency as a reference point for the search light to penetrate through all government ministries, departments and agencies which equally have skeletons in their cupboards and unprintable rot in their environment.

Besides this, government itself, needs to be transparent and accountable for Nigerians to trust it because Nigerians expect period checks on the activities of the Ministers, aides of the President and state Governors as well as each of the policy makers.

If government wants a high revenue turn over, from taxes, diversification of the economy is sacrosanct to boost production most especially in agriculture, mining and other areas of infrastructural importance.


Nigeria Governance Corruption Prof. Sabitu Olagoke

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