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ICAN tasks FG to explore multi-billion dollars revenue drive in digital economy

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Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. Photo/Nairametrics

The Institute Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) has urged the Federal Government to take advantage of multi-billion dollar revenue drive in digital transactions and other non-oil sector, to crush economy burden presently facing the country.

Besides, ICAN believed that Nigeria is sufficiently endowed with natural resources that can guarantee revenue drive outside the oil sector, which is presently overwhelmed and grossly inadequate to sustain expanding demands.

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Chairman, Kano/Jigawa district of ICAN, Dr. Abubakar Umar Faruq made the submission during a virtual meeting with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), on alternative revenue strategy for Nigeria economy.

The meeting was organised to officially present the outcome of research work tagged, ‘Initiatives for Broadening the Nigeria’s non-oil Revenue Base’, funded by the AGF office to recommend means of revenue drive in non-oil industry.

The ICAN chairman noted that the research came up with three major strategies to enhance Nigeria’s tax drive, namely Digital Transactions, Mining Exploration and Blue Economy Activities.

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Faruq, who expressed worry that the nation is losing several billions of dollars revenue daily to avalanche of untapped resources, said although agitations on non performance of revenue generation by the government are still on the raise, less than 40 per cent of the population are positively responsive to tax remittance.

He said: “Taxing digital transactions is one of the rapidly evolving areas of international taxation making huge revenue drive. Takes a look at cyber space marketing, millions of Nigerians uses and transact businesses on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks.

“Nigeria is not benefitting anything from this transactions. This is a wasted opportunity we will suggest the Federal Government must rise up and take advantage of. Also Nigeria is also blessed with the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Chad. Nigeria is yet to explore the avalanche of economy drive in the blue economy.

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“Digital businesses are growing with increased Internet and mobile penetration. It shapes new type of economy, meaning that not only businesses, but also countries should adapt to new global economy. In 2016, the digital transactions was estimated to be worth about $11.5 trillion, equivalent to 15.5 per cent of the world’s overall GDP.”

Presenting paper on enhancing revenue drive through mining, Dr. Zaharadeen Maigoshi lamented that despite the deposited natural resources, mining sector is contributing 0.5 per cent to the country’s GDP.

“It is believed that the country is losing multi-billion dollars revenue due to its failure to efficiently utilise opportunities presented by other sectors of the economy. We have abundant natural resources deposited. Mining is a very huge revenue drive we are yet to tap.

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“For years, Nigeria is bedeviled with shortage of revenue from oil. We are now at critical stage when generation from oil is no longer shortened due to so many factors. It is even worsen with the advent of COVID-19 pandemic. We must look inward to increase the volume of revenue in mining industry,” he said.

Responding to the presentations, the AGF, Ahmad Idris applauded the research findings presented, while assuring of Federal Government’s readiness to take every advantage of the strategies to boost revenue drive.

Ahmad noted that the presentation is coming at a point when the country’s main source of revenue is facing enormous difficulties.

“The office of AGF considered the presentations very critical and I can assure you the presentation and recommendations will be submitted to the highest authority for implementation.

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“I have taken critical interest in the recommendations, especially on the area of digital transactions, which I believe government is yet to explore despite the huge economy transactions taking place, Nigeria should have benefited.

” I believe the ministry of digital economy will take advantage of this presentation to improve on the revenue drive for the country. It with surely be made available to the ministry as well,” AGF noted.

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