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Emir of Kano to  Muslims: Tax not Anti-Muslim, Pay Your Tax

Ex-CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

Tax practitioners got royal endorsement on Monday when the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, asked Muslims and all Nigerians to do their duties and pay their taxes saying that tax, was not anti-Islam.

According to the Emir, without taxes, provision of amenities like schools, roads, hospitals will not be possible.

Emir Sanusi spoke  on Monday when the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board, JTB, Mr. Tunde Fowler, led 36 state Chairmen of the State Boards of Internal Revenue, SBIR to the Emir’s palace in Kano on a royal visit as part of the 134th meeting of the JTB.

Said the Emir: “You are welcome to Kano. We are all familiar with the good work you did in Lagos. I hope you will bring that experience to the national level so that it will help address some of the problems we are facing at the national level.

“People have always said that Nigerian economy depends on oil. Oil contributes only 15 per cent to Nigeria‘s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). But because government is not looking at other sources so that those sectors will also contribute to growth in the county.

“I ask the people of Kano, every Nigerian to pay their taxes. The social services that government provide: roads, hospitals, schools are provided by taxes.

“There are a lot people who believe that taxes are not Islamic. That is not correct. During the time of Sayidina Umar –(one of the caliphs of Prophet Mohammed), people paid taxes.  So taxes are not new in Islam. People should pay their taxes. People should be patient and pay their taxes. A lot of social amenities we enjoy will not be possible if we don’t pay taxes.

Emir Sanusi asked the Joint tax Board to contain the problem of multiple taxation, simplify tax laws and continue to educate taxpayers on what taxes to pay, where to pay taxes and how to pay taxes.

Chairman of JTB, who is also the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Tunde Fowler, said the JTB team is at the Emir’s palace to receive royal blessing as they deliberate on theImperatives of Transitioning From Oil Revenue Dependency to non-non-Oil Revenue Sufficiency.

Said Fowler: “We all know that the days of oil as our major source of income are long gone. “We are at your palace to seek royal blessing and to be blessed by your words of blessing, wisdom and guidance.

“I bring greetings from the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu and the Olowoo Ekoo of Lagos…in recognition of the role of our traditional rulers played in the past in taxation in the country.

“With your instruction, with your understanding and encouragement, taxpayers in the North and in the South will continue to do the right thing. We will appreciate your words of encouragement as we start our meeting and deliberate on how JTB could collect taxes to assist governments to meet their mandates.  We are here to seek the blessing of the emirate council and its advice on the way forward on payment of taxes and the revenue base.

With the commitment of Kano State Government and its support in hosting this meeting, show it the determination to improve payment of taxes and deepen tax administration’’

“There is nothing we can tell your royal majesty that we do not know. You know more than all of us.

Fowler congratulated the Kano state government for recent passage of the Kano’s Inland Revenue Service Autonomy bill.


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