Nigeria Can Generate N29tr Extra Revenue in Post-COVID-19 Era’

government - July 10, 2021

Nigeria can generate N29 trillion extra revenue if the Federal Government of Nigeria do the right thing by amending the tax laws to streamline the number of taxes collectible by the three tiers of governments; drive long term Foreign Direct Investment by providing incentive to foreign investors; utilise the policy landscape to support the private sector and enforce population; provide regular education and sensitisation to the citizens to improve the level of understanding and by implication and compliance.

This was the submission of Sir Gbenga Badejo in his paper titled “Taxation: A Veritable Tool For Revenue Generation In The Post Covid-19 Era” delivered as the Chairman of the Investiture of the Pioneer Chairman of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Mowe/Arepo District Society Mr. Akin Akindele recently.

In his address, Sir Badejo who is also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) noted that the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service increased its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from tax by 200% just by using technology to collect its taxes adding that private sector innovativeness and talent should be fostered in ways that creates new opportunities for young people.

He however on a sad note, revealed that data from the World Bank Poverty and Shared Prosperity report shows that Nigeria’s poverty level has further increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic noting more specifically that 79 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty, accounting for 20 percent of the people living in poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the investiture chairman and Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer GBC Professional Services, the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic crisis are enabling factors of the high poverty headcount adding that data from World Bank survey in Nigeria suggests that about 85 percent of households experienced higher food prices, with half reducing their food consumption as a coping strategy.

Sir Badejo said the upward trend in poverty is expected to continue owing to the difficulty in generating adequate broad-based economic growth, inability to create jobs and high population growth rate. The Taxation expert stated that in the year 2020, the country’s N2.64 trillion oil revenue target declined by 40 per cent as a result of twin shocks of COVID-19 and low crude oil price. By April 2020, the price of oil he added dropped by 80% to about US$5 and before the outbreak of the virus, Nigeria’s unemployment rate was at 23.1%, while underemployment data was at 16%, according to a 2018 report by the National Bureau of Statistics.

He wondered why in the first or second quarter of last year, 99.2 per cent of government revenue was spent in debt servicing noting that “if we can raise our revenue to about 15 to 20 per cent of GDP, our debt would be very small because, by debt to GDP, we have one of the lowest in the world”.

Sir Gbenga Badejo revealed that two factors responsible for Nigeria’s economic problem are low revenue and high rate of borrowing insisting also that the challenges of digitizing filing of returns regularly – VAT, Income Tax, WHT, current inefficiency of the FIRS’s Tax Pro Max web portal, remittance of tax and difficulty in processing tax refunds and utilization of tax refund by tax payers have not helped the country maximize it’s full tax potentials in spite of its huge population.

Consequently, Sir Badejo recommended the implementation of a National Roadmap for the Custom on Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement; encouragement of export of crude to neighbouring African countries and refining of Oil within Africa with the advantages of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (free freight); Strengthening of the National competitive advantages as a Service oriented economy; strengthen the justice system by creating special courts in order to reduce the time cycle of delivering judgment and protection of the over 41 million Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises from the negative effect of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.

In her own Remarks at the investiture ceremony, the President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, “the existence of district societies became necessary to provide a platform for members within their areas to have a sense of belonging and to provide an avenue for the propagation of the ideals of our noble Institute”. She congratulated the pioneer Chairman, Mr. Akindele Akinola, ACTI and other executives of the district for the steps they have taken in ensuring the birth of the Mowe/Arepo and District Society of the institute.

On his part, the pioneer Chairman of Mowe/Arepo and District Society of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Mr. Akin Akindele, said “he humbly accepted the position of chairman with a sense of responsibility, commitment and gratitude for the honour done me” especially the President of the institute Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice and the Chairman of the occasion Sir Gbenga Badejo whom he had the first privilege of learning the rudiments of tax and accounting practice under.

According to him, “I am here today by the grace of the Almighty God as the pioneer chairman of CITN, Mowe/Arepo and District Society. “I shall adopt and pursue a pragmatic road map that will distinguish and make our great district a cynosure of excellence and a pride not only to our parent district but the institute at large. In synergy with my colleagues, I shall endeavour to lay a formidable foundation for the generation to come”.

The areas of focus for his district Mr. Akindele noted includes: increased visibility of CITN via the prints, social and electronic media; aggressive membership drive, capacity building for members, strategic partnership and alliances and laying the foundation of the district’s secretariat.

The well-attended inauguration and investiture which held at the Redemption Resort, RCCG Camp Mowe, Ogun State had in attendance all the executives of the institute, friends, family members and well-wishers.

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