The Federal Ministry of Finance has commenced training of 7,500 graduates to be deployed in rural communities as tax advocates.
Addressing reporters after visiting the first batch of 27 graduates selected through the N-Power scheme in Abuja yesterday, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said government was bent on increasing revenue by focusing strongly on non-oil sources.
The Minister cried out that majority of taxable Nigerians were not in the tax net, while insisting that such a development was completely unacceptable.
She said, “When you look at our population and the population of taxable Nigerians and the number of people and institutions paying tax out of the taxable population, you would see that we have so much to do to get more people to pay tax.
“And that is what we are doing through the 7,500 tax advocates. They will go into the hinterland and rural communities including churches, mosques and schools to sensitize Nigerians to pay tax.
“We need people to know that paying tax is a law and not paying is breaking the law. It is from the tax funds that government provides social services.
“We need to educate people on this and these people are being trained to do just that.
“It is a five-day course and we have graduates from different fields like law, accounting, finance, mathematics and other related fields.
“This training facility is under the Office of the Account General of the Federation and it can take 200 persons at a time.
“But this is the pilot scheme and we have just 27 persons here. Now that we have seen that everything is okay, we’ll go full swing of 200 till we cover the 7,500 persons.
“They registered online and here, we are looking at their training content, materials and environment.”