How govern­ment can im­prove col­lec­tion of taxes, by CITN

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu

FED­ERAL Govern­ment’s ef­fort to en­sure that taxes are paid in the coun­try would only be re­alised if rev­enues col­lected were used to pro­vide ameni­ties and im­prove the peo­ple’s well­be­ing.

The Chat­tered In­sti­tute of Tax­a­tion of Nige­ria (CITN) stated this yes­ter­day at a train­ing work­shop for tax pro­fes­sion­als in the Vol­un­tary As­sets and In­come Dec­la­ra­tion Scheme (VAIDS), or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Fi­nance in Enugu.

CITN Pres­i­dent, Cyril Ike­me­funa Ede said Nige­ri­ans lost in­ter­est in pay­ing their taxes be­cause tax rev­enues usu­ally ended up in pri­vate pock­ets.

Speak­ing, the ex­ec­u­tive chair­man, Fed­eral In­land Rev­enue Ser­vices (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, said govern­ment was de­ter­mined to en­sure that Nige­ri­ans pay their taxes, as part of their obli­ga­tion to the coun­try, as­sur­ing that it would be ef­fec­tively used.

He ar­gued that with a six per cent tax com­pli­ance, Nige­ria was the low­est tax pay­ing coun­try glob­ally, stress­ing that the devel­op­ment prompted the es­tab- lish­ment of the VAIDS to sen­si­tise Nige­ri­ans to en­able them reg­u­larise their tax sta­tus.

The scheme, which runs for nine months from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 would ben­e­fit tax pay­ers who use the pe­riod to de­clare pre­vi­ously undis­closed as­sets and in­come as they are not charged in­ter­est and penal­ties.

FIRS as­sured that they would also not face crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion for tax of­fences.

Ede said: “I am sure that if govern­ment turns out to do bet­ter things, peo­ple will start pay­ing taxes.”

THE Lagos State House of Assem­bly yes­ter­day passed the state’s 2018 Ap­pro­pri­a­tion bill of N1, 046 tril­lion into law.

This fol­lowed the adop­tion of the re­port and rec­om­men­da­tions of the House Ad-hoc Com­mit­tee on Bud­get and Eco­nomic Plan­ning, headed by Gbo­la­han Yishawu as the House res­o­lu­tion.

It ap­proved N347 bil­lion as re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture and N699 bil­lion as cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture from the Devel­op­ment Rev­enue Fund for the year end­ing De­cem­ber 31, 2018.

Pre­sent­ing the com­mit­tee re­port, Yishawu said ef­forts should be made to re­duce the state over­head cost.

The law­mak­ers, who com­mended the com­mit­tee for its time­li­ness, how­ever, called for ur­gent mod­i­fica-

La­long, Rivers House sign bud­gets into law

tion of the state govern­ment’s Pri­vate Pub­lic Part­ner­ship (PPP) pol­icy.

Act­ing Chair­man, House Com­mit­tee on Phys­i­cal Plan­ning and Ur­ban Devel­op­ment, Se­tonji David said: “There are so many ar­range­ments go­ing on in PPP that the House does not know about.”

Deputy Ma­jor­ity Leader, Hon. Muyiwa Ji­moh posited that PPP should be on its own and should not op­er­ate un­der any min­istry.

The Assem­bly there­fore passed the ap­pro­pri­a­tion bill after its Speaker, Mu­dashiru Obasa, con­ducted a voice vote on each of the sec­to­rial al­lo­ca­tions for min­istries, de­part­ments and agen­cies (MDAS).

Obasa then di­rected the Act­ing Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni, to send a clean copy of the bill to Gov­er­nor Ak­in­wnmi Am­bode for his as­sent.

In a re­lated devel­op­ment, the Plateau State Gov­er­nor Si­mon Bako La­long yes­ter­day signed the 2018 ap­pro­pri­a­tion bill of N145 bil­lion into law.

He had pre­sented the 2018 bud­get es­ti­mate of N145 bil­lion to the state House of Assem­bly in De­cem­ber last year.

Speak­ing, he said: “We will ame­lio­rate the chal­lenges be­ing faced in all crit­i­cal sec­tors of our econ­omy and pro­vide the av­enue for sus­tain­able liveli­hood for our peo­ple.

Mean­while, the Rivers State House of Assem­bly has passed the 2018 Ap­pro­pri­a­tion Bill of N510 bil­lion into Law, as pre­sented by Gov­er­nor Nye­som Wike.

The pas­sage of the Bill fol­lowed the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Ap­pro­pri­a­tion Com­mit­tee re­port yes­ter­day.

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