Nigeria bans collection of taxes, public levies by private firms

The National Economic Council has banned the practice of using non-revenue officials for collection of taxes and levies by states and federal agencies.

This is contrary to Section 2 of the taxes and levies Act.

The National Economic Council, NEC, is made up of the 36 state governors, Chief Economic Adviser, Central Bank Governor, Solicitor General and is chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo.

Following the recommendation, Council directed that the Inspector of Police should dismantle all ‘road blocks’ mounted on highways for revenue collection.

Briefing journalists after the NEC meeting, the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, who briefed alongside the Governor of Gombe, Ibrahim Dankwambo; Kogi Governor, Idris Wada; Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, John Gboribiogha; Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Suleiman; and the Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS; said Council took the resolution following a briefing of the Ministerial Implementation Committee, MIC, on the harmonization of taxes, presented by the FIRS chairman.

The MIC was set up following report of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, to NEC on multiple taxations across Nigeria and its effect on the Nigerian Economy.

Mr. Obiano said some of the findings of the MIC are: the 1998 taxes and levies Act is overdue for review, there is duplication of some taxes and levies at states and local governments, and that taxes and levies administered by some states are not backed by appropriation legislation.

“Some of the recommendations by the MIC’s include: the discontinuation of the practice of using non-revenue officials for collection of taxes and levies by states and federal agencies as this is contrary to Section 2 of the taxes and levies Act.

“All states revenue boards should be empowered to automate their tax operations for effectiveness, process, accountability and reduce leakages. NEC to direct IG of police to dismantle all ‘road blocks’ mounted on highways for revenue collection” he said.

Several states as well as the federal government hire tax consultants to help in the collection of revenue.

NEC further resolved that the MIC committee should work with the following state Attorney Generals representing the 6-geopolitical zones to incorporate the inputs and comments of the members of the council and report in the next meeting.

The zonal representatives include Enugu for South-East, Lagos for South-West, Bayelsa for South-South, Plateau for North-Central, Kebbi for North-West, and Borno for North-East.

The Council also received a presentation on National Power Sector Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS) by the Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo.

Mr. Gboribiogha told journalists that the presentation observed that for close to 23 years, there has not been structured skills training for the technical manpower that works in generation, transmission and distribution sub-sector.

It also observed that 3,700 trainees, 100 each from 36 states and FCT will be fully sponsored by the federal government under the scheme and another 3,700 by the states. About N1.3 billion would be disbursed from the Federal Ministry of Power Intervention fund for the scheme.

Some of the objectives of the scheme include: To train qualitative and skilled middle and low level manpower for the power sector; to provide employment opportunities to meet government’s job creation projections for unemployed youth which has direct correlation with GDP growth projection; and to meet the local content expectation of government in the privatised electricity industry across the value chain.

The Bayelsa Deputy Governor said the Council took note of the scheme and commended the federal government for it.

He said the Council also received a status report on the valuation of electricity distribution asset provided by the state governments and connected to the distribution networks. The report was presented by the Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.

“Council took note and urged the states to come up with the final submission by next month,” he said.

The National Planning Minister also told journalists that Council also received an update on the National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan, NIIMP.

It also took note of all the amendments and adopted the NIIMP from the minister of national planning as a follow up to the last NEC resolution that the National Planning Commission should work with the commissioners of state planning agencies to further review the document and incorporate inputs.

“Council took note of all the amendments and adopted the NIIMP for effective implementation and also encouraged states and the FCT to: Establish appropriate enabling legal institutional frameworks; Align their infrastructure programmes with the NIIMP; Work towards developing State Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan (SIIMPs); National Planning Commission to assist the states to develop their SIIMPs,” he said.

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