Beyond oil: Stakeholders prescribe effective tax administration

Nike Akande

Dr. Nike Akande

In an effort to achieve the diversification goal of Federal Government on the economy, financial experts in the country have prescribed an effective tax administration regime as a viable alternative to sustain the nation’s fiscal demands.

According to the experts, governments at all levels need to sustain their operations by looking beyond oil and maintaining strategic decisions and policies.

Speaking at the presentation of report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos on Tuesday, President of LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande said Nigeria’s revenue base needs to be diversified.

“Our tax revenue to Gross Domestic Product is very low. It is very important to look at the fiscal side of diversification and cost effectiveness. We need to improve on the efficiency of tax administration at all levels of government without necessarily increasing the tax rates. It is also imperative to ensure cost effectiveness in governance.

“Recent reports of discovery of thousands of ghost workers underscore the significance of a thorough audit of our governance structure and processes”, she said.

According to her, the Nigerian economy has the capacity to weather the current challenges if the policy contexts are appropriate and robust.
“More than ever before, we need more strategic decisions and policies that will put the economy into the path of economic recovery and social prosperity”, she added.

She noted that the ongoing backward integration efforts of corporate organisations towards sourcing a large part of their raw materials locally should be encouraged.

Partner and Head of Tax and Regulatory Services, PwC Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele said local business and government policies can be controlled to ensure a suitable diversification process.

He disclosed that tax to GDP ratio in the country is down by three per cent saying that other countries that have lesser resources do better than the Nigeria economy.

“With a population of about 175 million, Nigeria’s unemployment ratio is high. Besides, the working population is low. Government must create an enabling environment for jobs to thrive with an attitudinal change towards paying tax,” he added.

“Diversification, when thought about, should be a process of adding values, which in turn, creates more fund for bailouts”, he stressed.
Chairman Yoruba Tennis Club, Ayodele Martins said the forum is significant because it provides opportunity to discuss and share perspectives on the challenges bedeviling the economy and proffer lasting solutions towards sustaining the economy.

He noted that the club is committed to positively impact knowledge in the citizens especially in diversification process of the federal government.

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