The Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, has expressed his steady commitment to end the malicious cycle of burden of debt servicing and overreliance on public spending, which affects the management of limited government revenues in Nigeria. During the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, which was headed by Mr. Taiwo Oyedele in Abuja, the committee was charged by Tinubu to develop business environment and the revenue profile of the country in line with the movement of the federal government to accomplish, within three years, an 18 percent Tax-to-GDP ratio.
Tinubu enjoined the Committee to accomplish its one-year mandate which is further classified into three major areas: growth facilitation, tax reforms, and fiscal governance. Government departments and ministries were also directed to collaborate fully with the committee in accomplishing their mandate. Ajuri Ngelale, the Presidential spokesman, explained in his statement that President Tinubu addressed the Committee members on the significance of their duties, adding that the burden of expectations is carried by his administration from citizens that truly believe in the government to provide better lives.
Adequate social services cannot be provided by the gov’t without revenue.
He stated that the people should not be blamed for their expectations because the expectations have already been campaigned to the people through promises. Ajuri said that he has dedicated himself in bringing quality life to the people by using his tenure judiciously to improve the state of the people. The President affirmed that the country is undergoing difficulties in some sectors such as Tax-to-GDP and the ease of tax payments, while acknowledging Nigeria current international standing in the tax sector which is far behind Continental average of Africa.
While accomplishing a minimum of 18 percent tax-to-GDP ratio in the next three years, the aim of this initiative is to promote sustainable development. He added that adequate social services cannot be provided by the government without revenue to the people it promised to serve. First, the Committee is expected to deploy a schedule of reforms that can be executed within durations of thirty days. Complete execution will be initiated within one year while recommendation on critical reform measures should be completed within six months.
An efficient and fair collection system is essential.
Mr. Zacchaeus Adedeji, the Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, while taking on the President’s sterling track record on revenue transformation, gave a description of the committee members as fulfilled individuals from different sectors. The Special Adviser stated that the President, under revenue transformation, has pedigree which was demonstrated when President Tinubu was the Lagos State governor more than 20 years ago. Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, the chairman of the committee, pledged on behalf of the members to deploy their best for the nation’s interest.
Comprehensive updates on the existing laws are needed to accomplish a complete harmonisation to remove the burden on the vulnerable and poor, while addressing the multiplicity of taxes explaining the concerns of all small and big investors. Ayodele capitalized, while speaking to State House correspondents after the inauguration, that the objective is to make sure that there is an efficient and fair collection system that does not attract the burden on the citizens with more taxes. He added that inefficiencies need to be addressed through the entrusting body: Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which will be responsible for collecting revenues from various agencies to prioritize their major mandates and promote economic growth.
There is a need to boost government revenues in the country.
Ayodele believes that by 18 percent, the proposal aims to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio, which can be accomplished through data-driven decision-making and careful policy design. He also highlighted the significance of removing essential goods from Value Added Tax (VAT) to protect the vulnerable and poor from excessive financial strain. Shubham Chaudhuri, the country director at the World Bank, explained that there is a need to boost government revenues in the country and control spending to meet the required needs. He endorsed Taiwo’s initiative on optimising collection efficiency and narrowing the tax gap.