Tax Reform Committee Raises Alarm Over N6 Trillion Annual Tax Waivers Impact on Nigeria’s Economy

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The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy Reform, Taiwo Oyedele, expressed apprehension on Friday regarding the country’s annual loss of up to N6 trillion in tax waivers, a figure approximately equal to its annual revenue. Oyedele, in an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, affirmed the Senate’s recent disclosure, stating, “Yes, as a matter of fact, we are giving away about N6 trillion annually.”

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When questioned about the economic feasibility of these substantial tax waivers, the financial expert conceded that the nation had neglected to assess their impact on the economy. He emphasized the pain associated with such significant figures relative to the country’s revenue base, noting that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) generated just about N6 trillion in 2021.

While acknowledging the importance of exemptions from value-added tax (VAT) on essential items, Oyedele specifically mentioned his request for the government to suspend VAT on diesel, import duties, and compressed natural gas (CNG) due to evident reasons. He highlighted the necessity for timely interventions in governance, emphasizing both the immediate economic and long-term social impacts.

Oyedele underscored the critical nature of evaluating incentives individually, scrutinizing their qualification for a new incentive regime. He mentioned the committee’s efforts to incorporate “sunset provisions” into incentives, recognizing that policies beneficial to the economy in 2023 might become irrelevant within a few years. This proactive approach aims to prevent prolonged financial losses and ensure a more targeted and data-driven incentive structure for the nation’s economic well-being.

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