LAGOS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has lamented perceived multiple tax charges demanded by all levels of government from the private sector, saying the tax burden and levies were killing business operations, especially when situated within the context of the high operating cost of businesses.
Speaking on the occasion of the business environment roundtable on multiple taxation, the President of LCCI, Otunba Femi Deru, asked for fairer tax system that wouldÂ treat people equally and a tax regime that is flexible enough to respond to changing circumstances andÂ the prevailing economic conditions.
According to him: â€œThe private sector is currently faced with an avalanche of taxes- Value Added Tax, import duty, excise duty withholding tax, education tax, consumption tax, port levies, land use charge, advertisement tax, environmental tax, rice levy, sugar levy, automotive levy, copious levies by local government councils and other fees charged by regulatory agencies across the sectors at the state and federal levels.â€
He lamented thatÂ operators in the real sector of the economy was the worst hit and posited that the multiple taxation posed a great risk to investment and job creation, stressing that basic infrastructures which were taken for granted in otherÂ economies had collapsed in the Nigerian economy.
â€œI would illustrate this with the 2007 revenue data from CBN custom duties- N241b, Value Added Tax- N289.6b; education tax- N51.8b; and petroleum profit tax and royalties- N1.5 trillion. The issue therefore is not that we are not paying enough; the problem is the manner of distribution of the revenue realized,â€ Otunba Deru declared.
LCCIâ€™s President, said Nigerians should begin to look more seriously at the issue of fiscal federalism, as it could go a long way in tackling the problem of multiple taxes and that under the arrangement, revenue generated within a particular region should be substantially retained for the development of the region.