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Nigerian Government sets up Committee on Fiscal Policy, Tax Reforms

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR

*The Federal Government discloses the Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms to be headed by Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, will advise on necessary reforms for ‘comprehensive fiscal policy and tax reform’ agenda

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the establishment of a Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms.

The Federal Government Friday, July 7, 2023, said President Tinubu makes the move in recognition  of the strategic importance of a sound fiscal policy environment, and an effective taxation system for the functioning of the government and the Nigerian economy.

Mr. Dele Alake, Special Adviser (SA) to President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, in the statement said the administration’s decision is in consonance with Tinubu’s promise to remove all barriers impeding business growth in the West African country.

The Presidential Spokesman further disclosed that the Committee would be chaired by Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Alake also hinted the Committee would comprise experts from both the private and public sectors and have responsibility for the various aspects of tax law reform, fiscal policy design and coordination, harmonisation of taxes, and revenue administration.

The statement further said Mr. Adelabu Zacch Adedeji, Special Adviser to the President on Revenue,  explained that Tinubu recognises the importance of a sound fiscal policy environment and an effective taxation system for the functioning of the government and the economy.

Adedeji stated: “Nigeria ranks very low on the global ease of paying taxes while the country’s Tax to GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world and well below the African average.

”This has led to an over-reliance on borrowing to finance public spending which in turn limits the fiscal space as debt service costs consume a greater portion of government revenue, annually resulting in a vicious cycle of inadequate funding for socio-economic development.”

The Special Adviser on Revenue noted: “While some incremental progress has been recorded over the years, the outcomes have not been transformative enough to change the narrative.”

According to Adedeji, the key challenges in Nigeria’s tax system to include multiple taxes and revenue collection agencies, fragmented and complex tax system, low tax morale, high prevalence of tax evasion, high cost of revenue administration, lack of coordination between fiscal and economic policies, and poor accountability in the utilisation of tax revenue.

The establishment of this committee reflects President Tinubu’s commitment to addressing these challenges and bringing about transformative reforms in fiscal policy and taxation.

The committee’s primary objective is 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.

These efforts will not only improve Nigeria’s revenue profile but also create a more conducive and internationally-competitive business environment.

Adedeji further explained: “Our aim is to transform the tax system to support sustainable development and achieve a minimum of 18% Tax to GDP ratio within the next 3 years without stifling investment or economic growth.

“It should be noted that this committee will not only advise the government on necessary reforms, but will also drive the implementation of such recommendations in support of the comprehensive fiscal policy and tax reform agenda of the current administration.”

Taiwo Oyedele’s profile at a glance

Mr. Oyedele has been described as an accomplished professional with extensive expertise in fiscal policy, taxation, and economic matters.

The Chairman of the Committee currently, serves as PWC Africa tax leader.

Oyedele also holds several important positions in prestigious organisations.

He is the Thematic Lead for the Fiscal Policy & Planning Commission and serves as the Chairman of the West Africa Debt Management Roundtable of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

Furthermore, he chairs the Taxation & Fiscal Policy Faculty Board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and is a member of the Nigerian Taxation Standards Board.

The expert also serves as a member of the Ministerial Committee on the implementation of Nigeria’s National Tax Policy.

He is a member of the Global Tax Forum and has previously served as a member of the Global Governing Council of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

As an educator, Oyedele holds the position of Associate Professor at the Babcock University Business School.

He is an alumnus of the London School of Economics & Political Science, Yale University and Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education.

He is a guest lecturer at the Lagos Business School (LBS) and the Founder and President of Impact Africa Foundation.

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