Buhari orders release of more Paris London Clubs debt refund to states
• FIRS targets N306b in new tax reform
• NEITI says govt revenue shrinks by 40%
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to release the second tranche of the London-Paris Clubs refunds to states.
Yesterday’s approval is the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to the states, which government said is being provided in order to ease their financial hardships.
The President, who addressed the meeting of the National Economic Council of state governors, with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as chairman at the Presidential Villa, however, urged the governors to use the refund for the settlement of unpaid salaries and pension liabilities of their workers.
Buhari, who went round the council chambers to greet the governors, praised the unity of the governors. He expressed his appreciation over their display of “love and respect” to him.
He said: “I will not rest until I address those issues that affect our people. One of these basic things is the issue of salaries. It is most important that workers are able to feed their families, pay rent and school fees, then other things can follow.”
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), after the NEC meeting too, disclosed that it would from May, commence a new tax reform that would boost Nigeria’s national revenue by N306. 7 billion.
Known as the Nigerian Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), the scheme, the government said will generate at least $1billion as government revenue within the next three years.
FIRS’ Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, who disclosed this to State House Correspondents, explained that a situation where the authorities were operating a tax payment scheme that gives room for tax haven and other sundry evasion strategies has not augured well for Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said yesterday that revenues available to the Federal Government, states and local government council have dwindled by 40% in the last three years.