In order to achieve optimal tax revenue collection across the various tiers of government in Nigeria, the country must undertake challenging yet crucial reforms that promise lasting benefits, according to the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) and Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami.
Nami articulated this perspective during the 153rd Meeting of JTB, held on Monday in Abuja, focusing on the theme of “Harmonization and Codification of Taxes at the National and Sub-national Levels: Keys to Achieving a Tax-Friendly Environment in Nigeria.”
Addressing the Board, Nami emphasized that to advance in the realm of taxation, tax authorities must continually explore and adopt innovative measures that facilitate the optimization of tax revenue for all levels of government.
He highlighted the significance of decisive actions in propelling a national resurgence amid socio-economic challenges, asserting,
“The unique and privileged offices we occupy as drivers of the nation’s tax administration processes present us with a rare opportunity to take hard but necessary decisions that are expected to yield long-term benefits and add immense value to our collective prosperity as a nation.”
In recent years, the role of taxation in funding government activities has been reiterated and reinforced, with tax revenue playing a critical role in governance. Nami stressed the need for efficient, effective, inclusive, and sustainable approaches to revenue optimization, noting that such efforts could stimulate economic activity in productive sectors, unlocking the nation’s substantial economic potential.
Assuring the Executive Chairmen of State Revenue Authorities in attendance, Nami indicated that the current administration’s tax policy direction is geared towards eliminating the proliferation of taxes, aligning with broader economic regeneration objectives.
Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, Taiwo Oyedele delivered a presentation during the meeting, underscoring that multiple taxation fosters low tax morale, hampers investments, fosters corruption and complicates business operations.
Oyedele emphasized that the solution to revenue challenges lies not in introducing more taxes, but in focusing on high-yielding taxes, which could lead to significantly increased collections.
Oyedele advocated for streamlined tax administration, integration of revenue collection functions, proper funding of tax agencies, harmonized revenue administration, simplified tax compliance, and leveraging technology to improve tax collection. He also called for a review of Nigeria’s constitution, tax laws, and fiscal federalism concept.
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