‘Nigeria loses N6tr annually to tax waivers’ – Presidential Tax C’ttee

The Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, Taiwo Oyedele, says it’s worrying that the country incurs losses of up to N6 trillion in tax waivers annually, adding that it generates a similar amount of revenue annually.

Oyedele stated that the levels of government have failed to measure the impact of tax waivers on the economy of the country.

The chairman, who made this known while appearing on a television programme yesterday, said: “Yes; as a matter of fact, we are giving away about N6 trillion annually,” the financial expert said in his confirmation of the figure, which the Senate recently quoted as tax waivers.

“On the economic viability of the enormous tax waivers, the country has so far failed to measure their impact on the economy. This is really the part that makes it painful because it would then appear like you just wasted the money you didn’t even have in the first place, and those numbers are huge compared to our revenue base.

“If we were a country where we’re making N60, N70 trillion and we give away N6 trillion, maybe we would say: ‘We can live with it. But the revenue generated by the FIRS in 2021, the year before the last, was barely N6 trillion. And then you give that away in tax waivers and incentives”.

Oyedele stated that the committee has urged the Government to suspend Value-added Tax (VAT) on diesel and essential services, noting that it’s important given the current economic reality in the country.

He said, “Like now, I’ve requested that the government suspend VAT on diesel for very obvious reasons, as well as suspend VAT on import duties (and) CNG. There are things you have to do part-time because, at the end of the day, governance is about the people.

“You may not be able to immediately measure the economic impact on those ones, but you, of course, can tell the social impact”, he stated.

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