The Tax Payers’ Association of Nigeria (TAPAN) has called on the federal government to urgently harmonise taxes and levies across the country so as to stimulate economic growth.
TAPAN, which commended the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for her position on the effects of multiple taxation on the economy, also decried the cumbersome nature of tax filling processes faced by tax payers.
Okonjo-Iweala had on Monday, called for the streamlining of the collection of taxes in the country. She also expressed dismay that government spent a lot of resources administering the collection of taxes and levies.
“This is a waste of capital that could be reinvested in these businesses to grow them and create more jobs for our economy. By streamlining and harmonising taxes across the federation, we would increase Nigeria’s productive potential,” she had said.
According to her, the issue of multiple taxation was one which had been on the front burner for many years in Nigeria had remained unabated.
Thus, a statement from TAPAN yesterday, quoted its Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Mr. Valentine Nzewkwe, and President, Mr. Philip Ilokhulo, to have said unless the minister’s advice was heeded, the trend could have adverse effects on businesses and the economy.
The association, which also disclosed plans to address the media at the weekend said it was concerned about multiple taxation and the use of tax payers’ fund in delivery the dividend of democracy.
The TAPAN while commending the President for the giant strides in the agriculture, works and transport sectors, wondered why some states would have 97 different taxes, levies and charges imposed on businessmen.
According to the Association, “the minister is right; this could kill business and have adverse effect on tax payers”.
It also urged the federal government to also heed the advice of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and review the various taxes and levies on Nigerians business in order to ensure effective diversification of the economy and encourage competition.
It called on the federal government and tax authorities to ensure transparency in the tax regime and make procedure of payment easier for tax payers.
“The tax payers have been at the receiving end of very cumbersome procedure and management and use of what the majority of Nigerian tax payers. We must ensure things change,” it added.