The Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform (PCFPTR) will ensure that tax payment and use are beneficial to Nigerians as well as make the right people pay tax.
Mr Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the PCFPTR, said that the committee would also ensure that tax payment is done through appropriate policies without stifling the most vulnerable Nigerians.
At a briefing of State House Correspondents on Tuesday in Abuja, Oyedele said that the aim of the committee was to ensure that government revenue translate to its spending on basic necessities.
‘’The committee will not tax everything and everyone but those that can pay the tax in order to protect the vulnerable citizens. Not having enough revenue means lack of proper infrastructure development in the country.
‘’It’s a job that is possible with the support of Nigerians. Most developed countries that our people want to go to survive on tax instead of borrowings.’’
Oyedele said that the committee would apply appropriate data in working out tax policies that make tax payment seamless and beneficial.
‘’The payment of the tax will encourage the translation of revenue to better service to the citizens because it means raising of revenue and where it will come from, such as removing multiplicity of taxes.
‘’There is a huge tax gap. So, if we get every tax payer to pay in the existing framework it will go a long way.
‘’We will ensure that the FIRS is made to harmonise taxes and collect for most MDAs that are charged to generate revenues. The MDAs will now facilitate revenue collection by concentrating on their core duties and thereby attract revenue,’’ he said.
To address the challenges of multiple tax payment, he said that all tiers of government are involved to make it a national policy, adding that all stakeholders agreed to have coordination in tax administration.
Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Representative, said that the body was involved in the aspect of helping Nigeria to deliver essential services to its citizens through proper revenue generation and spending.
‘’It is part of the IMF policy to offer services to member countries by supporting them to mobilise revenue without stifling growth and to eliminate poverty.
‘’IMF provide services like health care, roads and economic development so that Nigeria can generate its own revenues without depending solely on borrowings to finance essential projects like healthcare, rural roads, water, security among others,’’ he said.
Chaudhuri said that from the objectives of the committee, it would have a standard operating procedures needed to make the country generate revenue and encourage foreign investment.
‘’This committee will gain the trust of citizens by making them pay willingly and that the tax they pay will be used appropriately to provide the necessities a government must provide. This will translate to more economic opportunity for the citizens and the country,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, who represents the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on the committee, said that the establishment of the committee was a great stride in nation building.
‘’Businesses have no business not paying taxes. They only need to have the confidence that the tax would be fairly charged and deployed to facilitate business environment and encourage foreign partnership,” he said.
Ajayi-Kadir said that the involvement of MAN and other private sectors in the committee would be beneficial, adding that it would ensure only the ‘’fruit and not the seed’’ is taxed in this new policy.(NAN)