The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, has said that a robust tax system is the foundation of sustainable economic growth.
Enelamah spoke at the launching of Andersen Tax in Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos.
The Minister said that there appeared to be an association between the level of tax revenues generated and sustainable growth in the country.
According to him, a new view of taxes is necessary to ensure that Nigeria achieves sustainable socio-economic growth and development.
“Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. Good citizenship is at the core of our society; this means doing our part for the common good.
“As regulators too, we should realize that ‘To tax and be loved is not possible’, but make the process as efficient as possible,” he said.
The Minister commended Andersen Tax for building on the strong foundation of professional firms.
Also, Mr Babatunde Fowler, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), said that the country was facing a huge infrastructure deficit.
Fowler said that this was documented in the recently launched Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
According to him, Nigeria needs to invest over three trillion dollars in infrastructure over the next three years.
Fowler said that taxation would play a key role in the development process by providing the needed resources to fund government developmental projects and programmes.
“The Federal Government cannot provide these resources all by itself.
“It will be leveraging on the private sector capital in a variety of ways such as Pubic Private Partnership (PPP), Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Investment funds and various guarantee arrangements.
“FIRS has taken bold steps aimed at broadening our tax base and increasing our tax collection.
“The specific initiatives for increasing tax collection have been driven by the collection targets set for FIRS,” he said.
Fowler said that FIRS had adopted e-Service as a medium to achieve innovation, convenience and transparency of its operations to ensure that every effort is made to improve its efficiency in collection of sand tax administrations and reduce the taxpayers’ burden.
In his remarks, Mr Olaleye Adebiyi, the Managing Partner, Andersen Tax Nigeria, said that the coming of Andersen Tax was a catalyst for improvement in the tax system and compliance.
According to Adebiyi, ‘‘we want clients to focus on the standards and quality of service that made the Arthur Andersen one of the most respected firms in its field.’’
Amaka E. Nliam