Government gets review team tax policy
Apparently to grow Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) quota, which currently stands just at about six per cent far below average level of most sub- Saharan African (SSA) countries peer countries like South Africa, the Nigerian Government has set up a team to review the nation’s National Tax Policy (NTP)
Some of these SSA countries have the following tax to GDP: South Africa, 26 per cent, Cameroon, 18.2 per cent; Cape Verde 23 per cent per cent; Cote D’Viore, 15.3 per cent Egypt, 15.8 per cent Ethiopia, 11.6 per cent; Ghana 20,8 per cent Kenya, 18.4 per cent and Niger Republic, 11 per cent
Inaugurating the eight- member review panel yesterday, Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, expressed concern that tax was yet to play its role in the Nigerian economy and charged them to remove all encumbrances responsible for this.
The team, which has four weeks to conclude the review of the tax policy first produced in 2012 and yet fully implemented since then has the following as terms of reference; review the national tax policy document; recommend a list of tax laws and regulations that need to be reviewed or amended; recommend policy to ensure inter-agency cooperation between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other revenue agencies toward enhancing the IGR of the Federal Government; expand the treaty network of Nigeria to include our major trading partners and review the existing double taxation agreement; ensure that tax laws are reviewed from time to time to minimise avoidable hardships to taxpayers.
The minister said: “As keen as we are to grow revenues and improve our tax collection, we are equally determined to ensure that our taxes are simplified. The task of growing tax revenue must be pursued with a human face and sustainability in focus. The relevant unit of the ministry of Finance will be strengthened to enable it play a more vibrant role in tax policy formulation.
“The review will be a continuous exercise, as a means of evolving with global best practices and keeping with the domestic socio-economic realities. Government shall indeed remain committed to the continuous improvement of our tax system as part of a dynamic framework to enhance compliance,” she stated.
Members of the national tax policy review committee are: Adesina Adebayo- council members, CITN; Taiwo Oyedele- Managing Partner PWC; Prof, Abiola Sanni, UNILAG; Olayemi, Director, Tax Policy, FIRS; Odume, Director, Head of Legal, FIRS plus five others; M.L. Abubakar-Secretary JTB; representative of Legal department, Federal ministry of finance and the Director, Technical services department of the federal ministry of finance.
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