The need for citizens to live up to tax obligation as at when due has been brought to the fore again. This time, it is by the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. The President of Dangote Group, recently in a comment highlighted that without tax payment, increase in Value Added Taxes, the government cannot function well.
The business mogul explained further that governance is a collective responsibility such that it can not function efficiently without the citizenry living up to the end of their bargain. Dangote narrated in a dialogue session organized by the National Peace Committee, co-chaired by a former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), and Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah held recently in Abuja that for government to run efficiently, payment of tax is not negotiable.
Rhetorically, Dangote in amazement asked where the people intend the government to rake in resources without paying taxes and charging the right price on petroleum products. He lamented why certain individuals always kick against such a move of the government aimed at advancing the wellbeing of the masses.
In his words,
“How do they expect a government to function without paying taxes. But you have to pay tax; they want to increase VAT, people shout. They want to charge the right pricing on petrol products and some people say no.
“So where is the money going to come from? So, it is a collective responsibility. If you want to be safe, you have to contribute your quota to be safe. It doesn’t come that cheap.
“We have to be careful with the kind of news we disseminate because in areas where there is no peace, nobody will invest and that is why it is always good for us to talk good about the country.
“The question of security is everybody’s business. Even, today, we cannot do any business without security and that is why the private sector promised to put in N100bn to support the police in terms of security.
“Take the issue of Kagara (in Niger State where they kidnapped school children), there were only eight policemen in a big Local Government Area like Kagara. So these are the issues.”