‘No Development without Taxes’

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The Charge d’ Affaires and Acting Ambassador of Nigeria to Liberia, Mohammed Tahir, says no nation can develop without taxes from the people. “Taxation is every government’s priority; no country can succeed without revenue, and these revenues are mostly the taxes,” the Nigerian Envoy stated Tuesday, February 16, at the Nigeria House in Congo Town.

Acting Ambassador Tahir was speaking when the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, led an LRA delegation on a working visit.

Ambassador Tahir indicated that governments depend on taxes, noting that, “If you don’t pay tax, then expect no development.” He said countries with vast resources depend on taxation and those who do not pay taxes are made to pay with fines.

Governments need the taxes to properly function such as providing social services, security and other opportunities for their people, he said.

“You need to pay something to the country; so the issue of tax, I support it and my government supports it and I am sure my government is willing to help Liberia in its drive to collecting its taxes,” Ambassador Tahir said.

The Nigerian diplomat said he will discuss with his government to see how it can partner to assist Liberia “because without taxes there will be no development.”

Earlier, Commissioner General Tamba lauded the Nigerian government for its previous support to the customs operations in Liberia and stressed the need for more technical and logistical support to Liberia.

“Nigeria is a big brother so we have come to explain to you about the work of the LRA and appeal to Nigeria for assistance,” Commissioner General Tamba noted.

She said the LRA needs technical assistance to improve its management information system, which she described as a chief driver in facilitating efficiency and effectiveness in organizations.

“If you say you are a modern organization, then your business should be underpinned by technology,” she said.

Commissioner General Tamba said that the LFA also faces low level technical capacity, stating, “This is one area where Nigeria can help us to improve our technical (capacity) either by training our personnel in Nigeria or having the experts come to Liberia to pass on practical skills.”

Among other things, Mrs. Tamba emphasized that the LRA is looking to develop partnership with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Lagos Revenue Agency to boost knowledge-sharing, especially in relations to customs and tax, as well as training in anti-smuggling, investigative and intelligence gathering skills.

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