President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday received a ‘Quick Win Report’ on fiscal policy and tax reforms from the Committee tasked with improving the nation’s revenue profile and business environment.
Responding to a presentation by Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, the President commended their work and assured them of his support for the review and implementation of key recommendations.
”I have listened attentively to your report. Charting the critical path forward for Nigeria’s economic recovery is crucial to all of us. I want to say thank you to your delegation,” he said.
President Tinubu granted the request of the Committee to address a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and apprise cabinet members of their work and expected outcomes to facilitate economic growth.
The President directed Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, the Special Adviser on Policy Coordination, to coordinate with the relevant government officials for the session.
In his remarks, the Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, pledged to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee, as they may apply, pending the approval of the President.
Mr. Adedeji declared that beyond supporting the fiscal and tax reforms, the FIRS will explore opportunities to diversify the nation’s revenue sources, as the historical overreliance on oil has made the economy vulnerable.
”Nigeria’s fiscal policy serves as the foundation of economic stability. It dictates how the government collects, manages and allocates resources for the betterment of our people. A well-developed fiscal policy is crucial for provision of infrastructure, healthcare, education and social services to our growing population. Tax reforms are an integral part of a robust fiscal policy.
”While our current tax system has contributed significantly to our revenue, there remains room for further enhancement; enhancement that can be driven with digital technology. To achieve this, we are collaborating with the Presidential Committee to streamline our tax laws, improve voluntary compliance, and expand the tax base to ensure equity and fairness,” the Acting FIRS Chairman said.
In his prayers to the President, Mr. Oyedele, among others, called for an emergency economic intervention bill (Executive Bill) and the issuance of Presidential Executive Orders to address the duplication of functions across the public service, and to ensure prudent public financial management in a bid to optimize value from government assets and natural resources.
According to the Special Adviser on media and publicity to the President Ajuri Ngelale, the committee presented to President Tinubu, a report on quick wins achieved by the tax policy review committee, in conjunction with directives given by the President since it was inaugurated.
He said, President Tinubu after listening to the presentation by the committee chairman, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele directed the Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman, to liaise with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,to ensure that the recommendations of the committee are swiftly and immediately implemented across all ministries, departments, and agencies of the federal government .
Ngelale said this will ensure that there is effective synergy and to ensure that every institution of the federal government is on the same page with respect to how tax policy will be implemented.
“Mr. President has also made available an opportunity for the recommendations of the tax policy review committee to be made a top most priority at the next sitting of the Federal Executive Committee (FEC), on Monday. Mr. President will continue to emphasise the importance of ensuring that our tax authorities are not taxing the seed, but are taxing the fruit. And that will continue to be the focus.
“We want to ensure that our citizens are receiving the best of public service provision. And that is only going to be possible when we have expanded the tax net to such an extent that we are collecting tax to GDP, reaching the 18 per cent threshold as directed and targeted by the President, without any undue burden being placed on the most vulnerable segments of our population and without, in any way, increasing any substantial form of the taxes being levied on large scale industry, medium scale industry and small scale industry in the country,” he added.