The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, has promised tax payers in the country that ongoing fiscal policy and tax reforms by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration will not lead to higher taxes.
Oyedele gave this assurance via his official X-app handle while answering FAQs from the public on the objectives of the committee and giving progress reports on the work done so far by the committee aimed at meeting the committee’s deliverables as scheduled and planned.
The tax expert explained that the main objective of the committee was to reduce the number of taxes and levies imposed on Nigerians but rather that the committee would strive to harmonise revenue collection in order to reduce tax burden on payers nationwide.
Oyedele clarified: “We do not intend to introduce new taxes or impose higher tax rates. Rather, our mandate is to reduce the number of taxes and levies while harmonising revenue collection to reduce the burden on the people and businesses.
The objective is to avoid taxing investment, capital, production or poverty. We plan to review and re-enact the major tax laws in a holistic manner thereby limiting the necessity for frequent changes through annual finance acts”, he added.
Speaking on achieving the 18% tax-to-GDP ratio within three years target set for the committee by President while inaugurating the committee on 8th August this year, the committee’s chairman pointed out that the target was set based on the average tax to the GDP ratio for Africa and expressed optimism that the target was achievable.
He said: “The average tax to GDP ratio for Africa excluding Nigeria is about 18%. This is the basis for the target of 18% and the estimated tax gap of N20 trillion.
“There is a huge opportunity to generate revenue by leveraging technology and tax intelligence to close the tax gap. In addition, we will rationalize incentives, reduce the cost of collection, and optimise revenue from government assets and natural resources.
“This way we can generate more revenue without introducing new taxes”, Oyedele added.
It would be recalled that during the inauguration of the committee, the President directed the members to achieve its one-year mandate, which focuses in three main areas, namely fiscal governance, tax reforms, and growth facilitation.