The federal government of Nigeria remains focused on promoting and sustaining efficient tax administration, through the deployment of modern technology- driven processes and systems to facilitate quantum growth in Tax revenue collection, according to Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
In her Goodwill Message at this 23rd annual Chartered Institute Of Taxation Of Nigeria (CITN) conference recently held in Abuja, themed ‘Taxation for Economic Recovery: A Necessity For Social Engagement And Economic Sustainability’, she tasked the tax professionals to continue to work with other relevant stakeholders.
Mrs. Ahmed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi, tasked them to work with other stakeholders in ensuring effective and optimal participation in the global efforts spearheaded by Organisationfor Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to transform the digital economy into a major revenue Source for governments.
She noted that CITN comprises men and women with vast knowledge and experience in taxation which can be leveraged to achieve effective participation in the OECD inclusive framework of the Task Force on Digital Economy (TFDE).
Referring to the theme of the conference, she said: “The theme is indeed appropriate and in tune with the 2021 approved budget theme, ‘Economic Recovery and Resilience’, which is aimed at accelerating our economic recovery process, promoting social inclusion and strengthening the resilience of the economy.
“Nigeria’s low revenue generation has been a very serious challenge for past and present Administration. The debate on leveraging domestic resource mobilisation for sustainable development has been a recurring issue at different fora including this one of today. As part of government’s efforts in strengthening the effectiveness of the Nigerian tax system, we have instituted various tax reforms through the annual Finance Bill. This has culminated into the Finance Act, 2019 and Finance Act, 2020.
“The Finance Act, 2020 is unique as it consists of over 80 changes to 14 different laws including some tax law provisions, which are harped on ensuring a balance between broader macroeconomic strategies and specific measures to attract investment, grow the economy and create jobs. It also encompasses immediate fiscal strategies for accelerated domestic revenue mobilisation, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the domestic/global economic downturn.
In her words: “The underlying principle of our tax policy reforms is to adopt counter-cyclical fiscal policies to simplify the tax system, provide fiscal relief to taxpayers and attract more taxpayers into the tax net.
According to Mrs. Ahmed, the follow-up to the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) is the ‘Project Lighthouse’ of the Ministry which is a single source data analytic tool to support revenue agencies, tax authorities and other stakeholders to address the issue of current revenue challenges using tax.
She also noted that the global tax landscape and architecture is dynamic and the Nigerian tax system has to keep responding to the changes in the international tax space.
She also tasked the gathering to continuously work in coming up with new innovations to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the tax system.
“Government shall continue to ensure the improvement of the tax administration framework to optimise government revenue which is a major thrust of the current Administration’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI). As a result of this, recent tax policies have been anchored on the SRGI and the revised national tax policy.