Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has suggested that when times are hard such as the one Nigeria is facing, government must search for every possible means to shrink their establishments (to reduce fund waste) and increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said this in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, when management of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), led by Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, visited him at his residence on Presidential Hilltop Estate, Abeokuta, Tuesday, July 26.
According to Obasanjo, government needs to block all forms of financial leakages due to the dwindling revenue. He also said that for tax payers’ money to be utilized properly, government must provide necessary infrastructure to benefit all citizens. This he said would encourage citizens to pay their taxes willingly.
“When times are hard, it is then government needs more Internally Generated Revenue, and it is also the time those from whom the government would want to generate fund are hard to be able to get money.
“What do we have to do? They must continue to try with increase as much as possible, what each state can generate in terms of Internally Generated Revenue, but states must also embark on a number of things.
“One, reducing waste. Two, they have to look into becoming slimmer. Government can do a lot by looking at their own establishments. They have to bring together institutions that don’t need to continue to exist separately.
“And, generally, also show that the money they generate, the tax that the citizens pay are well utilised and they can show the people that, look you paid for this, and it has been well utilised’.
“I think these are some of the things we have to do to get us out of the tight situation that we are all in,” Obasanjo said.
Others among the team which also visited the former president includes: Chairmen of 36 states Internal Revenue Services, representatives of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC), Nigeria Customs Service and the Immigration Service.