President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday, received the ‘Quick Win Report’ on fiscal policy and tax reforms from the committee tasked with improving the nation’s revenue profile and business environment.
BRANDPOWER reports that the “quick win report” was presented to the president at the presidential villa in Abuja by the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Mr Taiwo Oyedele.
Receiving the report, the president commended the team and assured them of his support for the review and implementation of key recommendations.
”I have listened attentively to your report. Charting the critical path forward for Nigeria’s economic recovery is crucial to all of us. I want to say thank you to your team,”he said.
The president granted the request of the committee to address a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and appraised cabinet members of their work and expected outcomes to facilitate economic growth.
Tinubu directed Ms Hadiza Usman, Special Adviser on Policy Coordination to coordinate relevant government officials for the session.
The acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Zacch Adedeji, pledged to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the committee, as they may apply, pending the approval of the president.
Adedeji declared that beyond supporting the fiscal and tax reforms, the FIRS would explore opportunities to diversify the nation’s revenue sources, as the historical over reliance on oil has made the economy vulnerable.
He said, ”Nigeria’s fiscal policy serves as the foundation of economic stability. It dictates how government collects, manages and allocates resources for the betterment of our people.
“A well-developed fiscal policy is crucial for provision of infrastructure, healthcare, education and social services to our growing population. Tax reforms are an integral part of a robust fiscal policy.
‘”While our current tax system has contributed significantly to our revenue, there remains room for further enhancement that can be driven with digital technology.
“To achieve this, we are collaborating with the Presidential Committee to streamline our tax laws, improve voluntary compliance, and expand the tax base to ensure equity and fairness.”
In his prayers to the president while submitting the quick win report, Mr Oyedele, among others, called for an emergency economic intervention bill (Executive Bill).
He also called for the issuance of Presidential Executive Orders to address the duplication of functions across the public service.
He said, “And to ensure prudent public financial management in a bid to optimise value from government assets and natural resources.”
THE FULL REPORT:
QUICK WINS REPORT
The Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee was set up by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to review and advise on reforms to shape Nigeria’s fiscal policy and tax system.
The Committee’s terms of reference covers Fiscal Governance; Revenue Transformation and Economic Growth Facilitation.
The work of the committee is further divided into 3 phases, being Quick Wins within 30 days; Critical Reforms within 6 months and Implementation within 1 year.
The committee has presented its reports to the President with key recommendations to address critical economic issues ranging from exchange rate management, impact of fuel subsidy removal, moderation of inflation, and facilitating economic growth. The key recommendations include, but not limited to:
1. Measures to address duplication of functions in public service, ensure prudent public financial management and optimize value from government assets and natural resources
2. Policy signalling and collaboration by MDAs, economic management, and policy execution team
3. Use of technology “Data4Tax” to expand the tax net
4. Increase personal income tax exempt threshold and personal relief allowance
5. Tax break for private sector in respect of wage increases to low-income earners, transport subsidy and net increase in employment
6. Permit the payment of taxes on foreign currency denominated transactions in Naira for Nigerian businesses.
7. Remove impediments to global employment opportunities for Nigerians based in Nigeria
8. Suspension of VAT on diesel and tax waivers on CNG, CNG conversion, and renewable energy items
9. Comprehensive review of tariffs on the 43 items unbanned from accessing forex in the official market and fiscal policy review of other items prohibited for imports
10. Reforms of Withholding Tax Regulations to ensure simplicity and ease the pressure on working capital of businesses
11. Facilitate the use of mobile phones for conditional cash transfers and introduce a spending framework for subsidy removal and forex reform windfall, including a national portal to track spending by FG, states and local governments
12. Suspension of multiple taxes which place burdens on the poor and small businesses and compensate with windfalls revenue of certain agencies
13. Expand the official foreign exchange market to incorporate BDCs, forex apps and retail fx dealers, and outlaw transactions in the black market
14. Digitalise Nigeria’s fx regime and discourage speculative demands and hoarding of fx in cash
15. Imposition of excise tax on foreign exchange transactions outside the official market
16. Implement forward contracts for the importation of PMS as a short-term measure pending improvement in key economic indices
17. Discontinue with the fx verification portal and requirement for Certificate of Capital Importation and export proceeds restriction
18. Address impediments to export promotion and bottlenecks regarding Exports Expansion Grants, and remove restriction on repatriation and use of export proceeds by exporters
19. Modify Tax ProMax to allow taxpayers to make part payments of outstanding tax liabilities
20. Grant waiver of penalty and interests on the condition of full payment of outstanding tax liabilities on or before 31 December 2023