FG to review tax policies to block leakages

Worried over the menace of revenue leakages as a result of abuse of tax incentives by unscrupulous businessmen, the federal government has concluded plans to review existing tax incentive policies.

Giving this hint on Monday was the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who spoke on
the sideline of the conference of African Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

Ahmed said that with the current decline in oil revenue, the government had “begun strengthening our tax revenue collection agencies and processes. We are also expanding our tax base by trying to bring as many people and organisations that are in the informal sector not paying tax into the tax net.”

She then added by that “we are also pulling back some of the waivers that we feel are absolutely unnecessary and are rather slowing down the economy and are simply a drain on our resources. We are also trying to bring in revenue that was not properly harnessed from the government owned enterprises who were before now, making money and spending it with little or no returns to the government.”

Read also: How Stanbic, FirstBank others help firms repatriate forex

The Buhari administration, she said, plans to continue to finance its subsequent budgets through non-oil sector revenue which was why it was very serious about blocking all leakages concerning tax.

Also speaking at the event, Mr Tunde Aremu, the Head of Policy Advocacy and Campaign Manager, Actionaid Nigeria said if the government was looking at reviewing its tax policies, it should focus on tax concessions handed out to multinationals.

He reiterated that “what Nigeria is losing through the granting of tax incentives is an average of 2.9 billion dollars every year. That is huge and unnecessary. We think it’s absurd that a country with a large population like Nigeria with purchasing power still thinks it needs to give tax incentives to attract investors.”

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