Osinbajo commends restructuring of Nigeria’s stock exchange
VP Professor Yemi Osinbajo

…says FG needs adequate revenue to fight insecurity

…Urges CITN, Nigerians to comply with extant tax rules

By Ezra Ukanwa

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has blamed Nigeria’s poor revenue generation on leakage and corruption in the tax system.

This is even as he harped on the need for the digitalization of Nigeria’s economy towards placing it among the top-ranked economies in the world.

Osinbanjo who was represented by the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Muhammed NAMI, stated this during the 24th Annual Tax Conference on ‘Global Disruption, Taxation and Digitalisation: Implications For Socio-Economic Development, in Abuja, yesterday.

He noted that issues concerning insecurity, crimes and all other criminalities can only be tackled if there is adequate revenue in the hands of the government.

He called on the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, and other well-meaning Nigerians to comply with extant tax rules.

His words: “Nigeria’s economy is fast, digitalizing. The digitalization of Nigeria’s economy means that the way and manners of organising and doing businesses have changed.

“Indeed the radical changes brought about by digitalization have displaced the traditional approach to tax administration. Consequently, the digitalization of tax administration is unavoidable. That is why our government has continued to heavily invest in the automation of tax administrative processes and digital infrastructure.

“To provide an enabling environment for the digitalised tax administration, the government has been making necessary tax policy change, developing rules for translation of the digital economy, enacted required legislation and also provided political backing for the team negotiating the new International tax rule for the digitalized economy.

“Therefore I urge you to support the government and FIRS in the draft towards full digitalization of the tax administration processes due to the imperative for multi-stakeholder support in tackling the disruptions occasioned by digitalization and entrenching efficiency, ease of administration, ease of compliance, and general ease of doing business.

“His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari in 2021 directed all stakeholders, including government ministry departments and agencies to support the Tax Automation drive of the Federal Inland Revenue Service in assessing their data processing systems.

“It is in the best interest of our country that government at all levels should be in revenue, delivery issue of insecurity, crimes and criminalities, inadequate social-economic infrastructure etc can only be addressed if there is adequate revenue in the hands of government.

“Therefore, I call on the CITN and every Nigerian to comply with extant tax rules, encourage others to comply and report those not complying. We must all understand that Nigerians alone have the responsibility to build the Nigeria of our dreams. We must therefore take the destiny of our country in our hands, create and develop the future that we all desire for this generation and the generation to come in the future.”

Earlier in his address, CITN’s president, Adesina Adedayo, tasked all tax professionals to be solution providers in mitigating challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Distinguished participants, the world witnessed an unprecedented disruption in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic circling the globe, which led to global economic downturn. Governments, businesses, and tax agencies have been tackling the new challenges strenuously.

“As tax professionals, we should be more resilient and proffer lasting solutions to mitigate these disruptions, some of which have been highlighted in my address.

“In the light of recent developments, there is need to interrogate the most relevant out of the 15-point OECD-BEPS Action Plans and their effect on our economy.

“Of particular interest are Action Plans 5,6,13,14, which currently form the implementation of the OECD-BEPS Project 4 minimum requirements. They are Harmful Tax Competition, Treaty Abuse, Country by Country Reporting, and Alternative Dispute Resolution respectively”, he said.

He, however, bemoaned Nigeria’s move in opting out of the Global Corporate Minimum Tax Agreement in July 2021, stating “this decision too has its disruptive impact on our nation’s economy.”

On her part, the Chairman, Annual Tax Conference Committee, Mrs Ruth Arokoyo, stated that for Nigeria to remain relevant: “there is the need to compete globally without the interruption of distance but with the use of technology. On the other hand, the global pandemic, COVID-19 pandemic has altered business transactions across the globe, causing business communities to adopt technology to mitigate against the effect occasioned by the pandemic.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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