Nigerian govt considering new national tax policy to increase tax revenue

Zainab Ahmed
Zainab Ahmed

The Nigerian government is considering a national tax policy to boost revenue, reduce the cost of doing business and curb tax inequity in Nigeria.

A technical committee constituted to work out the fine details of the policy said on Wednesday in Abuja it was putting together a national tax policy bill to be submitted to the National Assembly soon for consideration.

The Technical Committee of the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee is expected to present a Finance Bill and Policy Note to the Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

The committee is headed by the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, with the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Hamid Ali as the Deputy Chairman.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Economic Matters in Vice President’s Office, Adeolu Dipeolu, is the Chairman of the Technical-Sub-Committee.

The members of the NTPIC include the Permanent Secretary (Finance) from Federal Ministry of Finance; Permanent Secretary (Special Duties); Permanent Secretary and Solicitor-General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice; the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation; the Director-General of the Debt Management Office;and the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Others members include the Statistician-General of the National Bureau of Statistics, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Council; the Executive Secretary of the Joint Tax Board, the Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs and the Director (Legal) Federal Ministry of Finance.

Others are Jumoke Oduwole, Farouk Gumel, Oyebode Oyetunde, Mark Abani, Rukiyal El-Rufai, Nabila Aguele, Abiona Sanni, Taiwo Oyedele, Ajibola Olomola and Oluseye Arowolo.

At the second sitting of the committee at the FIRS Headquarters in Abuja, the Deputy Chairman of the technical committee, Bode Oyetude, said that the sub-committee would complete its assignment within 15 days.

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“We are working to put up a finance bill and policy note to the Minister of Finance,” he said.

He said the bill when passed into law by the National Assembly will help raise the country’s revenue, reduce the cost of doing business, deal with some areas of tax inequity and check areas of conflict in international taxation, like profit shifting and base erosion.

At their inauguration, the FIRS urged the technical committee to work harmoniously to achieve a desired result in the interest of the country.

“I charge the Chairman and members of the Technical Committee with the responsibility of accelerating the drafting and submission of a draft Finance Bill (and if deemed necessary, any draft Executive Order(s), to harmonise the various tax and excise law reform efforts,” he said.

Mr Fowler said government’s expectation is that the Technical Committee will produce a singular set of fiscal measures at the end of it’s assignment for consideration and approved by the reconstituted NTPIC.

Once agreed, he said the fiscal measures would be submitted to the Economic Management Team and the Executive Council of the Federation for approval.

The draft bill would ultimately be transmitted to the National Assembly for final consideration and passage into law as part of the efforts to support the 2020 Executive Budget Proposal.

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