Taiwo Oyedele, the newly appointed chairman, Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform, has assured Nigerians that the committee would work to lighten their tax burden and also look into frustrating laws affecting operations.
Oyedele, who was appointed chairman of the committee recently by President Bola Tinubu, is the fiscal policy partner and Africa tax leader at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
He disclosed the committee’s plan at an event hosted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to celebrate his appointment, assuring that Nigerians would see initiatives backed with actions to make them feel relief on tax collection and utilisation within the expected time frame.
“Our mandate has three milestones. The first is within the first 30 days during which we aim to do the quick wins, actions and decisions that do not require amending the Laws; we shall be looking at possibility of removing VAT from diesel to bring down the price, increase exemption on income tax and the likes so that people can breathe a little.
“We shall reduce people’s burden, set a framework for accountability, transparency and Judicious use of our taxes while we shall focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of: No hunger, access to clean water, employment, quality of life and others,” Oyedele said.
According to him, the second milestone which falls in the next six months would look into reforming and introducing policies that would make international firms hire Nigerians who are based in Nigeria, noting that one does not have to be in the US, or anywhere in the world before earning foreign currency.
“So long as you have knowledge and infrastructural enablement, with what we’ve got, Nigerians can work here and earn foreign currency. By implication, foreign exchange supply would increase, quality of life would improve and income tax would be increased. We want to rewrite the tax laws to be simpler, repeal frustrating taxes and reduce the confusion,” he assured.
Speaking on the third milestone, which falls within one year, he said there would be opportunities for extensive consultations to achieve the mandate which would carry everyone along.
“We shall take more actions because we can’t afford to fail Nigerians. At the end, people shall look back and say, it was worth the while. I’m very sure we will succeed. We are looking for solutions, and we want to be part of that solution and we want Nigerians to support us,” he pleaded.
Dele Alake, special adviser to the president on special duties, communications and strategy, explained that the purpose of the committee was to enhance revenue collection efficiency, ensure transparent reporting, and promote the effective utilisation of tax and other revenues to boost citizens’ tax morale, foster a healthy tax culture, and drive voluntary compliance.