In a bid to boost tax awareness and collection, the Federal Government has commenced the training of 27 unemployed graduates as Community Tax Liason Officers.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, made this known on Friday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of her meeting with the graduates presently undergoing training at Federal Treasury Academy, Orozo FCT. She said that 27 people had been selected from the N-Power programme to be the pilot set of the community tax awareness project. “This is a five-day course, and this is the first set of Community Tax Liason Officers. “These first set of graduates had already registered on the N-Power website. “We went through the applications and selected specific disciplines such as accounting, business studies, economics, mathematics and relevant disciplines. “The website is still open for more people to register. “We want to run this pilot edition early, so we can see how much they have learnt, how good our training materials are, so that when we get the 7,500 graduates, we will be ready,’’ she said.
One of the Participants, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Uwafure Destiny, said he feels lucky, being part of the project to increase the number of people paying tax in the country. “Even with the recession, when every eligible tax payer comes voluntarily to pay their tax, our economy will be revamped and Nigerians will have a cause to smile once again,’’ he said. It will be recalled that last week, the Federal Government had announced that it would recruit 7,500 graduates through the N-Power programme as Community Tax Liason Officers to raise awareness on tax among citizens. The graduates would be recruited on a two year fixed contract at N30,000 per month and a promise of added incentives such as sponsored professional training on tax if the programme becomes a success. The recruits are expected to go to schools, churches, mosques, markets and other social places to educate people on the tax system and let them know what their obligation is. Through the programme, the Federal Government expects to increase the number of tax payers by 35 per cent that is from 14 million to about 17 million in two years.