Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said Federal Government was committed to implementing any policy that would boost the country’s tax system and ensure ease of doing business.
Adeosun said this on Friday in Abuja while receiving a Progress Report by the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee on tax law reforms.
She said that the government was laying emphasis on tax because it was the only reliable source of revenue to achieve its developmental goals.
“I want to underscore that this government led by Muhammadu Buhari, came in at a time when oil price was as low as 28 dollars per barrel.
“This led us in search of a revenue base that is sustainable, predictable and can deliver development and succour to the masses.
“One of the functions of the tax system, which many people overlook, is that it is the most reliable tool for government to use to redistribute wealth from rich to poor.
“Many of the programmes we are undertaking will do exactly that, whether it is fixing our roads, or our social interventions like N5, 000 Conditional Cash Transfer to the poorest.
“There is also the N30, 000 to some of our unemployed graduates or the school feeding programme.
“These are all methods of redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor and that is one of the functions of a good tax system,” she said.
Adeosun reiterated government’s willingness to take the recommendations of the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee, which she explained, would not only boost revenue but also improve ease of tax payment.
She said that the recommendations would be submitted to the Economic Management Team (EMT), National Economic Council(NEC), Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly for ratification.
Earlier, Mr Taiwo Ayedele, Vice President of the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee, had said that the committee identified the tax laws that were obsolete and making the country’s tax system inefficient.
He said that the committee recommended that Company Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Customs Excise and Tariff, Personal Income Tax, Pension Contribution, Industrial Development Income Tax Relief and Tertiary Education Trust Fund be reviewed.
“The proposed changes to the tax laws are expected to increase government revenue, simplify paying taxes and doing business and promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
“It will also remove obsolete, ambiguous and contradictory provisions in the law and protect most vulnerable persons in the society.”