Home OPINION COMMENTARY How Not To Abuse Taxpayers Contribution To Nation’s Commonwealth, By Rashidat Yusuf

How Not To Abuse Taxpayers Contribution To Nation’s Commonwealth, By Rashidat Yusuf

To be sure, taxes are generated from all tax payable individuals, be it in the formal or informa sector of the economy. Indeed, the money considered as “government money” belongs to the citizens.
It is the money that is put together from both the market women selling pepper and tomatoes, ewedu, ugwu as well as other petty traders; it is equally the money drawn from salary earners, whether well paid at work or under paid (public and private). They all have taxes deducted fom their salaries. Also Indigenous companies as well as multinationals all pay taxes.
I remember during our NYSC days, we were made to go on tax collection drive in Makurdi, capital of Benue State. We were on duty every market day. We learnt the difference between tickets for “open shops” and for “lock up shops.”
All such taxes go into government coffers, from where it is utilised for the day to day running of government .
The estacode you receive when going on foreign and local trips for mainly, official assignments is drawn from taxpayers money, which cumulatively, is called COMMONWEALTH. Taxes, from various sources are a wealth which belongs to all citizens.
And so, when you are privileged to partake in the Commonwealth, by virtue of your position, you become indebted to the state or the country. A “give back” then becomes imperative on you. You must be seen to be contributing meaningful to the growth and development of such a state or the country.
As part of measures to safeguard the “taxpayers” money and ensure proper utilization, President Bola Tinubu, on the 9th of January 2024, came up with the idea of cutting down by 60 percent, the number of entourage that would accompany him on both local and foreign trips. The President’s decision was greeted with wide spread commendations.
Against that background, it is obvious from time immemorial that many people who have been accompanying Chief executives in government on trips have no business doing so.
They usually go abroad with state money without any tangible assignment. What they do mostly is to go into shopping malls or markets in search of the latest phone, ipad, shoes, clothes, perfumes and so on.
One is not saying however that such shopping is not necessary, but the shoppers should always ask themselves whether it is the taxpayers, by extension, that should be so wasted.
It is expected that after President Tinubu’s exemplary move, state governments and others down the line, should take a coo. Ministries, Departments and Agencies should also tow the line, in the genuine drive towards prudence.
Monies earmark for projects must be properly utilised for the benefit of the taxpayers of all hoos.
It must be pointed out that extravagance and unnecessary spending by Nigerians is not limited to local and foreign trips alone; those in offices too, running the day to day activities of government need a reorientatioion
Taxes are, for emphasis, our collective wealth and must be treated as such .
As you get opportunity to serve, remember that funds at your disposal is from the commonwealth and should be judiciously used for the purpose of creating more wealth and or comfort for the citizens.

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