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Tax reforms to boost investment, not frustrate Nigerians – Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Saturday, said the tax reforms undertaken by the Bola Tinubu administration are not aimed to frustrate Nigerians but to sustain the country’s investment friendliness.

Shettima, represented by his Special Adviser on General Duties, Aliyu Umar, spoke at the close-out retreat of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Shettima’s spokesperson, Stanley Nkwocha, revealed this in a statement titled ‘Our tax reforms initiated for overall benefits of Nigerians – VP Shettima.’

He argued that contrary to speculations in some quarters, “We are not here to frustrate any sector of our economy but to create an administrative system that ensures the benefits of a thriving tax system for all our citizens.”

His comments follow controversies surrounding the introduction of the cybersecurity levy in Nigeria. The levy which involves a 0.5% charge on all electronic transactions, was mandated by the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024.

It also comes amidst ongoing reforms by the Taiwo Oyedele-led Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee inaugurated last August.

On October 24, 2023, Oyedele presented a 30-day Quick Win report to President Tinubu, telling State House Correspondents that the Committee recommended merging over 200 taxes being paid by Nigerian businesses into 10.

He argued that multiple taxation had shrunk the Federal Government’s internal revenue pool rather than increasing it, adding that only 10 taxes generate 96 per cent of revenues.

VP Shettima explained the policy thrust of the administration’s tax reforms, pointing out that the dynamics of the nation’s fiscal landscape prompted the Tinubu administration to pause and reconsider the direction it was going.

“Our aim remains the revitalisation of revenue generation in Nigeria while sustaining an investment-friendly and globally competitive business environment,” he noted.

While expressing confidence in the ability of the committee to deliver on the mandate, the VP emphasized the significance of the task ahead, noting that “we are gathered today because we are transitioning from the phase of the proposal in the operations of this committee’s work to the phase of implementation.

“I am confident that both the federal and state governments stand ready to ensure the effective implementation of your reform proposals, and we shall provide the institutional framework to guarantee the adoption of the consensuses of this committee, aligning them with our economic agenda,” he added

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