How government can improve collection of taxes, by CITN
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.