Proposed Bill to Disqualify Politicians for Tax Evasion


A proposed Executive bill aims to bar politicians found guilty of tax evasion from seeking elective offices, announced Taiwo Oyedele, chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee. This amendment to an existing tax law is set to be forwarded to the National Assembly, intending to enforce tax compliance and prevent default by the political class.

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Speaking at the 2024 strategic retreat for staff of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) in Abuja, Oyedele outlined key reforms targeting tax compliance among politicians, alongside plans to establish a national tax amnesty programme. He emphasized that the proposed amendment would disqualify individuals failing to meet their tax obligations from running for political office.

Oyedele stated, “We’re moving beyond a tax clearance certificate, which can be easily obtained. Effective compliance involves a thorough examination of tax declarations, filings, and payments to determine if a candidate is genuinely fulfilling tax responsibilities as outlined in the constitution.”

Regarding the upcoming tax amnesty programme titled the “Voluntary Disclosure or Declaration Program,” Oyedele highlighted the JTB’s pivotal role. He addressed concerns about negative connotations associated with amnesty, stressing the initiative’s core objective of encouraging tax compliance.

Reflecting on past programmes like the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), Oyedele noted missed opportunities for greater success due to inadequate stakeholder collaboration. He pledged a different approach, aiming for comprehensive engagement and co-creation of solutions.

Proposed reforms seek to transform the JTB’s role beyond personal income tax, as Oyedele explained, emphasizing the need for staff readiness to adapt to the evolving tax ecosystem. JTB Secretary Olusegun Adesokan underscored the importance of embracing collaboration and innovation to ensure the organization’s continued success amid ongoing reforms.

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Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samson
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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