Revenue shortfall: FG sets up committee to work out new national tax policy

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Federal government is considering a national tax policy to boost revenue, reduce the cost of doing business and curb tax inequity in Nigeria.

A technical committee constituted to work out the fine details of the policy said on Wednesday in Abuja it was putting together a national tax policy bill to be submitted to National Assembly soon for consideration.

The Technical Committee of the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee is expected to present a Finance Bill and Policy Note to Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

The committee is headed by Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, with Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Hamid Ali as Deputy Chairman.

Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Economic Matters in Vice President’s Office, Mr Adeolu Dipeolu, is Chairman of the Technical-Sub-Committee.

Members of NTPIC include Permanent Secretary (Finance) from Federal Ministry of Finance; Permanent Secretary (Special Duties); Permanent Secretary and Solicitor-General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice; Director-General of Budget Office of the Federation; Director-General of Debt Management Office; and Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission.

Others members include the Statistician-General of National Bureau of Statistics, Executive Secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Council; Executive Secretary of Joint Tax Board, Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs and Director (Legal) Federal Ministry of Finance.

Others are Mrs Jumoke Oduwole, Mr Farouk Gumel, Mr Oyebode Oyetunde, Mr Mark Abani, Mrs Rukiyal El-Rufai, Nabila Aguele, Abiona Sanni, Taiwo Oyedele, Ajibola Olomola and Oluseye Arowolo.

At the second sitting of the committee at FIRS Headquarters in Abuja, Deputy Chairman of the technical committee, Mr Bode Oyetude, said that the sub-committee would complete its assignment within 15 days.

“We are working to put up a finance bill and policy note to Minister of Finance,” he said.

He said the bill when passed into law by National Assembly will help raise the country’s revenue, reduce the cost of doing business, deal with some areas of tax inequity and check areas of conflict in international taxation, like profit shifting and base erosion.

At their inauguration, FIRS urged the technical committee to work harmoniously to achieve a desired result in the interest of the country.

“I charge the Chairman and members of the Technical Committee with the responsibility of accelerating the drafting and submission of a draft Finance Bill (and if deemed necessary, any draft Executive Order(s), to harmonise the various tax and excise law reform efforts,” he said.

Fowler said government’s expectation is that the Technical Committee will produce a singular set of fiscal measures at the end of its assignment for consideration and approval by the reconstituted NTPIC.

Once agreed, he said the fiscal measures would be submitted to Economic Management Team and Executive Council of the Federation for approval.

The draft bill would ultimately be transmitted to National Assembly for final consideration and passage into law as part of the efforts to support the 2020 Executive Budget Proposal.