Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the need for the timely payment of taxes by citizens to enable the government to address the diverse challenges in the country saying, the fiscal challenge facing Nigeria is inadequate revenue especially in the face of lower oil revenue.
Professor Osinbajo noted providence and good policies of the President Muahmmadu Buhari’s administration are the factors that have enabled the country to cope with economic pressure especially during the trying moment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The VP who spoke in Jos on Saturday at the graduation ceremony for 85 participants of Senior Executive Course, SEC 43, 2021 at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, also called on the new members of the national institute, (mni) to be in the frontline of promoting the nation’s unity.
According to him, “…There are possibilities, we are not facing an uncertain future. Generalized restrictions on trade are counterproductive especially when they impede the ability of local industries to procure inputs.
Our focus would be on allowing import of goods to which value can be added for domestic consumption and exportation for example importing cotton for garment making.
“Someone may argue that we should ensure that we grow all our cotton but the issue is that where the jobs are created, it is in value addition.Bangladesh for example only grows 2% of their annual cotton requirement but it is the largest garment exporter in the world. It imported $11.8billion of textile and apparels while it exported $31billion of garment in 2019 much higher than what it imported.
“The fiscal challenge facing Nigeria is inadequate revenue especially in the face of lower oil revenue and your research pointed that out, it is therefore essential to improve tax administration for vigorous collection of revenue due to the federal government from all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies and bring all high earning agencies into the federal budget.“In Nigeria, we have about 142 people individuals who pay self-assessed tax of more than N10 Million, I am not talking about companies, I am talking about individuals, 90% of them are from Lagos State so in this whole country, people with rolls Royce big cars and all sorts only that tiny fraction pay that N10million in self-assessed tax everybody else claims to earn never enough to be able to pay that kind of money”He added, “So, we need to be more aggressive about tax collection, excessive tax collection from those who certainly have the resources.
Concurrently, we must lower customs duties and tariffs on raw materials and intermediate goods used in manufacturing while giving reciprocal non-tariff-based support like procurement subsidy and tax rates to priority sectors.“We must create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, we need to eliminate red tape, extortion and harassment of small businesses which increases their costs. Let me remind our new mni that every mni belongs to an elite club of thought leaders in Nigerian.
“You are in the frontline of our efforts to build a better future for our country. You must be the first promoter of Nigeria’s unity, the policy work that you produce here which you submitted to Mr. President shows clearly what can be done where the best Nigerian minds regardless of ethnicity or religion working together for the good of our nation and the people and I think we demonstrate here every year with members of the national institute that it is possible for our country to be united and work together for the common good of our nation.”Earlier, the Acting Director General, NIPSS, Brigadier General Chukwuemeka Udaya in his remark assured that the National Institute would continue to push for a great Nigeria.
He noted, “The Theme for SEC 43, 2021 is “Getting Things Done: Strategies for Policy and Programme Implementation in Nigeria,” the theme was structured into seven sub-themes.“… At the end of the course, participants have been well-equipped through rigorous and intense research and training processes to contribute to Nigeria’s government strategic plans and actions towards getting things done in their different roles and capacities.”However, the VP had earlier attended the funeral service of an All Progressives Congress, APC chieftain, the late Captain Joseph Din (retired) at the Church of Christ In Nations, COCIN headquarters in Jos.He described the deceased as “a man who stood for justice, fairness and equity in all his dealings.”
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