By Steve Agbota
The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has charged the Federal Government to widen the nation’s tax net by engaging the informal sectors as part of ways to bail the country out of recession and effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the 43rd Induction Ceremony of the Institute, where 558 new members joined its fold, its President, Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, made reference to the Institute’s 22nd annual tax conference where specific policy directions and recommendations were proffered for various tax stakeholders, including the need to prioritise expenditure to intervene in critical sectors to accelerate national economic growth and performance.
According to her, the institute also agreed that using tax incentives to attract foreign direct investment may not yield positive result than widening the tax net to include informal sectors which would be the best way going forward. She urged government to come up with policies on tax incentives in addition to developing a systematic framework that would enhance the visibility of such incentives.
The CITN boss added that the Nigerian government must collaborate with the private sector to save lives, protect livelihoods and lay the foundation for strong economic recovery.
She however said there was need for prudent management of taxpayers’ money by public office holders to build trust among the citizens, stressing the need for performance-based budgeting to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the utilisation of government revenues.
“Government would need to position itself for recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these critical areas including containing the possible recurring outbreak of the pandemic; enhancing macroeconomic management to boost investor’ confidence; safeguarding and mobilising revenues; reprioritising public spending to protect critical development expenditures and stimulate economic activity; and protecting poor and vulnerable communities.” Priority on investments with large job creation and high social impact such as agriculture should be given ultimate attention while institutional capacity building would have to be intensified to lead the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),” she said.