Monday, March 4, 2024

Tinubu inaugurates presidential committee on fiscal policy, tax reforms

President Bola Tinubu has established the presidential committee on fiscal policy and tax reforms, which was inaugurated in Abuja on Tuesday.

In July, the president approved the establishment of the committee and appointed Taiwo Oyedele, a tax and fiscal policy expert, as its chairman.

In a statement announcing the development, Dele Alake, special adviser to the president on special duties, communications and strategy, said the committee will comprise experts from both the private and public sectors.

He said the panel would be responsible for various aspects of tax law reforms, fiscal policy design and coordination, harmonisation of taxes, and revenue administration.

The special adviser said the committee’s primary objective is to enhance revenue collection efficiency, ensure transparent reporting, and promote the effective utilisation of tax and other revenues to boost citizens’ tax morale, foster a healthy tax culture, and drive voluntary compliance.

Speaking on the committee’s establishment, Zacchaeus Adedeji, special adviser to the president on revenue, emphasised the importance of a sound fiscal policy environment and an effective taxation system for the functioning of the government and the economy.

He said Nigeria ranks very low on the global ease of paying taxes while the country’s tax to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio “is one of the lowest in the world and well below the African average”.

“This has led to an overreliance on borrowing to finance public spending which in turn limits the fiscal space as debt service costs consume a greater portion of government revenue, annually resulting in a vicious cycle of inadequate funding for socio-economic development,” he had said.

“While some incremental progress has been recorded over the years, the outcomes have not been transformative enough to change the narrative.”

On July 6, Tinubu signed four executive orders, including the suspension of the 5% excise tax on telecommunication services, as well as the excise duties escalation on locally manufactured products.

The federal government also suspended the import adjustment tax (IAT) imposed on certain vehicles and the green tax on single-use plastics (SUPs).

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