Reconstituted NTPIC will boost non-oil revenue, says Fowler
Fowler made the declaration yesterday, at the inaugural meeting of the reconstituted NPTIC, which held in Abuja, noting that for the country’s revenue base to grow, there is a need for improvement in non-oil tax revenues.
He explained that the ongoing tax reform gained further impetus under the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGIs), focused on three key thematic areas – achieving sustainability in revenue generation, identifying new and enhancing the enforcement of existing revenue streams, as well as achieving cohesion in the revenue ecosystem.
“The SRGIs proposed to develop and propose tax laws targeted at emerging, digital economies as well as review existing tax laws to close legal loopholes for taxes by adopting a sectoral, rules-based approach.”
He added that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) was asked to review extant customs and excise laws to bring these in line with global practices.
To ensure the tax laws and excise reforms under SRGIs are appropriately anchored by the leadership of FIRS and NCS, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the former Finance Minister, in May, reconstituted the NTPIC under the leadership of Fowler as Chairman, and Comptroller-General of Customs as Deputy Chairman.
Other members of the Committee are drawn from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Debt Management Office, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission among others.
According to Fowler, the Technical Tax Policy Drafting Committee was set up to support the work of the reconstituted NTPIC, which is chaired by Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu, with Dr. Oyebode Oyetunde as Deputy Chairman.
Other members are Simon Kato, as the Secretary; Dr. Jumoke Oduwole; Dr. Mike Abani; Ms. Rukaiyah el-Rufai; Ms. Nabila Aguele; Ms. Edirin Akemu; Prof. Abiola Sanni; Taiwo Oyedele; Ajibola Olomola; Oluseye Arowolo; and Albert Folorunsho.
He charged the committee to accelerate the development and submission of a draft Finance Bill, to harmonise the various tax and excise law reform efforts.
“It is our expectation that the Technical Committee will work assiduously over the next few weeks to produce a singular set of fiscal measures that will be considered and approved by the reconstituted NTPIC.
“Once agreed, these fiscal measures are to be submitted to the Economic Management Team, and Federal Executive Council, for approval and ultimate transmission to the National Assembly, for passage into law, as part of the efforts to support the 2020 Executive Budget proposal,” he said.
He said the committee is ready to partner and engage other tiers of government, particularly the National Assembly, for support in the passage of a single Finance Bill that will ensure revenue-enhancement initiatives with appropriate legislative backing.
Accepting the responsibility bestowed on the Committee, Ambassador Dipeolu assured the NTPIC of members committed to producing a draft Finance Bill incorporating fiscal measures to support the government’s revenue generation efforts.
“As you may be aware, Nigeria has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world at six per cent, which constitutes a significant challenge to raising the quantum of resources we need to deliver key economic, social and other development targets under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The SRGIs Steering Committee, of which I am a member, continues to meet regularly and pursue the implementation of a variety of tax and other revenue-enhancing reforms and interventions.
“However, fiscal policy reforms are not only about raising taxes and excise duties but also about strengthening the social contract between citizens and state, upon which modern societies are built,” Dipeolu said.