NESG seeks tax reforms with new initiative
Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), a policy advocacy group committed to the development of a modern globally competitive economy, said it is now ready to unveil the findings of its nationwide survey on tax perception.Besides, the group said it would drive government-citizen engagement for sustainable economic reforms through the launch of its new initiative tagged: “Better Tax.”
Scheduled for launch on May 15, in Lagos, it is a product of the NESG’s fiscal policy roundtable’s commitment to building a globally competitive Nigerian economy through fiscal consolidation that impacts the citizenry and drives holistic national development.
According to the group, experts have long advocated a refocus on the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy, following the 2014 crash in global oil prices.Speaking during a media parley in Lagos, Advocacy and Communication Consultant for NESG, Izin Akioya, said the initiative seeks to create a platform for discourse between government and the citizenry that will reshape tax perception.
She said the initiative would change the perception of tax as a burden, to a tool for socio-economic development, as government has set a policy priority to significantly boost the share of non-oil revenue by 2020. Akioya noted that Better Tax would correct Nigeria’s low tax compliance levels, which frustrates the realisation of the revenue mobilisation objective set by the government.
“In 2018, FIRS disclosed that about 6,772 billionaire businesses in Nigeria do not pay tax, adding that this category of organisations have between N1billion and N5billion turnover in their accounts, but had no Tax Identification Number (TIN).
“A whopping 57 million Nigerians are economically active, but the vast majority are not registered to pay Personal Income Tax.“Better Tax sets a radically different tax reform agenda for Nigeria that is impactful and proffers evidence-based solutions to address the twin-problem of low tax morale and compliance that Nigeria continues to grapple with.
“The research component of Better Tax is holistic and cuts across the six geopolitical zones. It includes all stakeholders across the tax revenue value chain such as the government, taxpayers and tax officials. “The overarching objective of the project is to drive mutual collaboration and action among all stakeholders which will, in turn, see Nigeria transform its tax strategy and grow its revenue significantly in record time.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Fiscal Policy Roundtable, NESG, Sarah Alade, in a statement, said the initiative is distinct from previous tax reform initiatives, as it adopts a multi-pronged approach to easing tax burden.
“The project leverages the findings of nationwide surveys to cascade information on Nigeria’s current fiscal position in a concise manner designed to educate stakeholders on the role of taxation, and the dual responsibility of citizens and the government to actualise the social contract envisaged through strict tax compliance as obtained in developed economies,” she said.
The event will feature a panel discussion on “Making taxation work for Nigeria”, Issues, Solutions and Priorities; and the panellists include President, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ahmed Mansur and Executive Director, Enough is Enough Nigeria, Yemi Ademolakun, amongst others.