By Our Reporter
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun says, her Ministry has suspended two senior Tax Officials in Delta and Benue States in connection with tax related offences.
According to her the suspension was as a result of verified tips from whistleblowers.
She said already, Government has commenced investigation into over 200 other whistleblowing tips on tax officials and taxpayers, which covers under declaration of taxes and demand of gratifications.
“The Ministry is currently analysing over 200 additional whistleblowing tips including recordings between tax officials and potential taxpayers in which various practices, designed to reduce tax payable, were detailed.
Mrs. Adeosun, was speaking in Abuja at the meeting of the Whistleblower Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
The Minister said, “These practices include demands for personal gratification by tax officers, promises to procure backdated tax clearance certificates, and offers to conspire to reduce taxes payable.
“Encouraging our citizens to pay taxes is a matter of law but it is also a matter of trust. Those who work in our tax offices must therefore demonstrate the highest level of integrity.
“The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari understands that to reduce our reliance on oil means every citizen must pay their taxes as and when due.
“However, people will not be encouraged to pay if they believe that those involved in the assessment are not transparent or are dishonest. We will continue to sanitise the system and also improve our controls,” the Minister stated.
The Minister warned Nigerians to stop the procurement of tax certificates that were not reflection of their true income, advising them to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to regularise their tax profile.