Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has decried what he called the high rate of tax evasion in Nigeria, describing it as inimical for the development of the country.
Emmanuel said this at the opening of the Mandatory Professional Training Programme of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CTIN) in Uyo on Monday.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner of Finance, Mr Akan Okon, restated that revenue from tax was a major source of funding for governments in most countries.
He also called for effective tax education in Nigeria with a view to motivating a high degree of compliance by the people.
The governor urged tax administrators to create public awareness, to enable Nigerians to understand tax-related legislation and procedures.
According to him, such enlightenment will re-awaken in people a consciousness to be patriotic and see it as their civic responsibility.
"Tax is a major source of government’s revenue in many countries. People see tax as their civic duty and pay it willingly.
"But here, there is a high degree of tax evasion and avoidance. The little money government gets through taxes is through civil servants as their taxes are deducted from source,'' he said.
The governor gave an assurance that his administration would partner CITN to build the confidence and trust of the people.
He also said that the state would ensure judicious application of tax payers' money to meet the people's needs.
Earlier, the Vice-President of CITN, Mr Cyril Ede, said the institute placed high premium on capacity building and training of its members to achieve efficiency in service.
He urged the participants to make good use of the opportunity to acquire new ideas and knowledge, so that they could be on the same page with their counterparts globally.