Image: President, John Jegede,Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN)
April 12 2012
THE Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has called on the government to develop appropriate fiscal policies needed for achieving its objectives.
Its President, John Jegede, in recent presentation stressed the importance of developing appropriate fiscal policies to facilitate the achievement of government objectives towards the attainment of Vision:20:2020, especially in the areas of power generation, security, transportation and employment creation.
“If we are to build our economy on a solid foundation, taking into consideration provision of gainful employment and avoid the boom and bust of the past, it is critical that we refocus our spending more in the area of infrastructure and other enduring capital expenditure,” he said.
Continuing, he said, “having taken a general review of the previous budgets of the state, the pitfalls and deficiencies as regards tax administration and regulation in Nigeria we wish to propose for consideration an increase in Internally-Generated Revenue and an improved the tax administration in each state of the federation.”
According to him, it is true that the non-oil sector remains the greatest driver of Nigeria’s socio-economy’s growth hence the government of the day should ensure a maximisation of the benefits of this sector and in particular taxation. Taxation has a role in ensuring sustainable economic development of the nation, an option that needs to be explored.
His words, ‘‘given the significant role of taxation in Nation building, we recommend that there should also be a parallel Vision 20:2020 for tax in Nigeria. The goal will be to make Nigeria one of the top 20 countries in the world on the ease of paying taxes by the year 2020. Based on the 2011. Doing Business Report of the World Bank, Nigeria currently ranks 134 on the ease of paying taxes indicator out of 183 countries surveyed. The proposed tax vision, if adopted and diligently implemented, will aid the attainment of the country’s economic Vision 20:2020.”
For states, he recommended autonomy and professionalisation of state internal revenue service as the need for autonomy for Revenue Authorities has always been stressed by CITN.
His words, “unless the revenue agency is totally independent with powers to carry out its assignments without hindrance and in compliance with the dictates of the law, government shall continue to lose revenue. The political will of government shall be a morale booster for the improvement of the state’s IGR.”
Jegede also stressed a need to increase the number of tax professionals within the tax system and build the capacity of the existing ones to drive this all-important sector of the nation’s economy.
“It is our belief that government policies and programmes in the area of increased revenue generation can be best implemented with a state Internal Revenue Service that is autonomous and consisting of professionally competent chartered tax administrators in accordance with the law of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The fortune of most states in Nigeria could be enhanced through the granting of autonomous status to the states’ Internal Revenue Service to enable them equip, train and re-train competent staff, who will in turn apply the skills and knowledge acquired to increase the internally-generated revenue of the states.
“The states should be looking for alternative sources of funding if it is to diversify their economy and place little or no reliance on monthly allocation from the Federal Government, which is hardly sufficient.
To increase the revenue profile of the state and local governments, he said, the taxes and levies contained in the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, Cap T2, LFN, 2004 should be fully exploited most especially by local governments and supported by state government. In addition, the following levies should be introduced by the state governments to boost its revenue, which should be supported by appropriate legislation.
‘In addition to the incentives under the Companies Income Tax Law, each state government should come up with attractive incentives to investors, which will encourage them to invest in the state. These include but not limited to provision of land, waiver or payment for registration fees,” he said.
Article credit: Guardian Newspaper
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