Human rights and taxation in Nigeria: a case for tax justice and accountability

Book chapter


Onyejekwe, C. 2020. Human rights and taxation in Nigeria: a case for tax justice and accountability. in: Business and Human Rights in Africa South Africa Pretoria University Law Press (PULP).
AuthorsOnyejekwe, C.
Abstract

Human rights play an integral role in State revenue sourcing and taxation. The relevance of these ideas is twofold: first, to reinforce a State’s obligation to enact legislative measures and other regulations for the realisation of treaty rights. Second, to recommend that a foundation or premise whereby individuals are duty bound to pay taxes when necessary. One of the overarching aims or themes in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights is hereby explored: ‘to work to the best of his ability and competence, and to pay taxes imposed by law in the interest of the society.’ Additionally, States are obligated to protect human rights under Customary International Law and international human rights treaties. These treaties and customs ensure that States enact legislations that guarantee the enjoyment of rights and freedoms of citizens.

This chapter examines whether human rights can be invoked in the debate on creating a successful tax regime in Nigeria. Recent literature and reports agree that tax and development go hand in hand to achieve the best possible human rights objectives. The authors examine the view that there is an international debate regarding whether tax revenue should be used to meet state human rights against the backdrop of Nigeria’s struggling economy. Therefore, this paper argues that Nigeria should incorporate human rights consideration in its policies on taxation. For example, a Taxpayers Bill of Rights should be developed by the relevant authorities in the country and it should explicitly incorporate human rights considerations in taxation policies and laws in the country. This chapter also argues that multinational corporations should pay their fair share of taxes in Nigeria.

KeywordsTaxation policies; Tax avoidance; Internal generated revenue; Nigeria; Human rights
Year2020
Book titleBusiness and Human Rights in Africa
PublisherPretoria University Law Press (PULP)
Output statusIn press
Place of publicationSouth Africa
Publication process dates
Accepted24 Feb 2020
Deposited29 Apr 2020
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8v2wq/human-rights-and-taxation-in-nigeria-a-case-for-tax-justice-and-accountability

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