The Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms is currently engaging with state governors to achieve an agreement for the suspension of low-revenue taxes imposed by states and local government authorities across Nigeria. The move is aimed at addressing what the committee refers to as ‘nuisance taxes,’ which are deemed to be of little value to the state’s coffers.
The Chairman of the committee, Taiwo Oyedele, highlighted the committee’s efforts during an interview on Channels Television, shedding light on the initiatives underway. The objective is to encourage states to suspend taxes that create problems but contribute little revenue. Oyedele mentioned that discussions with governors were ongoing, to implement the agreement promptly once finalized.
The committee emphasized that many taxes, particularly those related to the transport of goods between northern and southern regions, negatively impact the poor. The call for the suspension of these low-revenue taxes aligns with the broader mandate of the committee, which was inaugurated by President Bola Tinubu to champion tax reforms and enhance the nation’s tax revenue for economic growth and development.
In a bid to address challenges associated with multiple taxes and levies imposed by different levels of government, the committee is working on the Emergency Economic Intervention Bill. This bill, a crucial aspect of the tax reform strategy, is expected to be submitted to the Federal Executive Council for approval. Following FEC endorsement, the bill will proceed to the National Assembly for consideration.
Oyedele stated that the tax reform bill is anticipated to pass through the National Assembly and receive presidential assent by the end of the first quarter. The overarching goal is to create a more equitable and inclusive tax system that contributes significantly to Nigeria’s economic development.
In a related development, President Bola Tinubu, during the third South Summit of the Group of 77 and China, advocated for a swift review of the global tax system. The President called for a more balanced international tax regime, emphasizing the need to rectify the inequities that disadvantage developing countries. Nigeria, along with other African Member States, initiated a historic resolution at the United Nations for a Framework Convention on Tax, aiming for a fairer global tax system.
The ongoing efforts by the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms and President Tinubu’s call for global tax reform reflect the commitment to creating a just economic order that fosters sustainable development and economic self-reliance.