By Mustapha Salisu
In collaboration with the Kano Internal Revenue Service and with support from Christian Aid, the Tax Justice and Governance Platform (TJ&GP) organized a one-day sensitization engagement on taxpayer rights and obligations, as well as the existing Grievance, Redress, and Complaint Mechanism Channel (GRMs) for stakeholders in Kano.
The event, which took place at Mambayya House, aimed to address a prevalent issue in Nigeria. According to Dr. Muhammad Mustapha, the Coordinator of TJ&GP, Nigeria is a prime example of a country with a substantial informal sector, comprising numerous small-scale businesses that often go unregistered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Consequently, many individuals in this sector perceive tax payment as not their responsibility.
Dr. Mustapha stressed that the training’s objectives were to enhance taxpayers’ understanding of their rights and obligations, as well as to educate them about the available GRM channels. This, in turn, would encourage citizens to willingly fulfill their tax obligations, contributing to improved domestic revenue mobilization.
Highlighting the success of their previous efforts, Dr. Mustapha mentioned the organization’s role in facilitating a dialogue session involving over 120 taxpayers and administrators, focused on resolving tax-related issues. This initiative has led to a notable reduction in illegal tax collectors and other related problems.
Encouraging taxpayers to meet their obligations without complications, Dr. Mustapha noted that his organization has produced pamphlets outlining the processes for registering tax-related complaints, which will be distributed by stakeholders.
Muhammad Abbas Aliyu, a representative from the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, explained that the Kano Internal Revenue Service (KIRS) is working on strategies to transition from traditional cash tax payments to online methods, aligning with the digital age.
One of the participants, Shema’u Musa Abdullahi, who also serves as the Women Coordinator for the Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN), expressed her appreciation for the timely sensitization and pledged to share the knowledge acquired with members of her association.
The event featured goodwill messages from representatives of the Kano Internal Revenue Service (KIRS), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Society for Women in Taxation (SWIT), and the Ministry for Local Government. Additionally, working materials were presented to representatives from various organizations for further training, and group photographs captured the essence of this enlightening engagement.