Civil Society organisation called Accountability Lab-Nigeria in collaboration with Openalliance Nigeria, BudgiT and Follow Taxes on Tuesday trained youths in Kaduna State to do more around taxation and budget monitoring to improve public accountability.
These teaming organisations believed that, fiscal responsibility was crucial to national infrastructural development, hence, the need to promote learning and creative engagement around tax justice and budget monitoring groups in the State.
Country Director, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Odeh Friday, said, one of the great gaps his organisation had found between taxes and budget monitoring platform was that, young people were not aware of the issues they they ought to.
To Friday, “the engagement with youth groups is basically to let them know that tax funds the budget. Some of us pay tax and we don’t even know how the tax is being used. So, we need to know how we generate this revenue call tax and now we use it. How tax speaks to people’s needs.
“We look at all these as an organisation and see how we can bring people working around tax justice sector and budget monitoring together especially the young persons so they can own and drive the project even when we are not here.
“From what we have observed in southern part of Nigeria where we have a couple of people working on budget monitoring while people working around taxes are silent. So, we want to have a platform where we can build a coalition of people working around taxes and budget together as one,” he added.
Also speaking, Saied Tafida (PhD), Follow Taxes, said, the meeting was designed for the youth to bridge the gap and speak up on tax regime, “everyday, taxes are treated as if they were separate from budget. In reality, they one entity. They are two sides of a coin”.
He further said, “what we are trying to do with young people and activists in order to get results is to let the youth understand the subjects matter here so that we all understand the need to work towards revenue generation so money can be available for the government to work for the people through budget.
“So, people need to understand how their taxes work and also understand how budget works and marry them together so that we have what we call tax justice. We have brought these youths together from different locations within the local government that fall within Kaduna town but working at the grassroots.”
Sent by Sola Ojo