Nigerian governors are targeting a 200 per cent increase in the country’s tax aggregate revenue despite the challenges facing businesses in the country.
To achieve this, they are collaborating with the Joint Tax Board on an initiative tagged Data for Tax.
The Data for Tax (D4T) initiative envisages an ecosystem where financial and non-financial data on all individuals and economic transactions will be collated into a central National Tax Data Bank with the National Identification Number (NIN) as the primary unifying code.
During their meeting on Wednesday, members of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) received a presentation from the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Service (FIRS) and Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Muhammad Nami, on the national D4T Initiative with regards to how it can be achieved.
The governors pledged their support for the project which is aimed at expanding the country’s tax net to at least 90 per cent of all eligible taxable persons.
They also committed to collaborating with the JTB to increase the country’s aggregate tax revenue by up to 200 per cent as envisaged.
These were contained in a communique issued on Thursday and signed by the NGF chairman, Kayode Fayemi.
The governors also received a presentation from the National Convener of the UN Food Systems and Permanent Secretary of Budget and National Planning, Olusola Idowu, on the National Pathway to Food Systems Transformation.
The role of governors in the project is to prioritise the establishment of farm settlement estates for groups of smallholder producers, including women and youths, to increase the supply of farm inputs, the use of machinery, access to extension services, and market access.
To this end, the Forum affirmed its commitment to the ideals of the programme which it said, many states are already pursuing and committed to working with the federal government to expand the development of these settlements across the country.
Also at the meeting, the governors received a presentation on the status of the country’s digital identification programme from Aliyu Aziz, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
This is aimed at strengthening the national enrollment exercise which has seen the issuance of over 74 million national identification numbers (NIN) to Nigerians across the country.
Governors, according to the statement, pledged to support the programme through sensitisation activities, integration of NIN in state services and collaboration with telecoms providers to improve network infrastructure for sustained identity registration and authentication.
The Forum stressed the need to ”complete the harmonisation and integration of databases, to reduce the carriage of multiple identifications (IDs) by citizens noting that being able to uniquely identify persons is extremely important for social security and cross state border management”.
Furthermore, NIMC is to liaise with state governments through its various state coordinators in addition to working with the NGF Secretariat.
On COVID-19, the NGF Secretariat’s Health Adviser, Ahmad Abdulwahab, delivered an update on the country’s health security interventions, particularly on the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (COPREP) and the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPF).
The governors also discussed the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lassa fever outbreak, the need to improve the quality of Polio campaigns, as well as the setup of State Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance Services (SEMSA) with accredited health facilities and requisite personnel.
The Forum announced that from February 23 to 25, 2022, the state governors will be joined by a delegation from Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, “with the aim of deepening the government’s engagement on routine immunisation, health system strengthening and COVID19 vaccination in the country.”
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