A UK based IT consultant, Lanre Olakitan has commended President Bola Tinubu for constituting a panel of experts on tax reforms which is aimed at harmonising tax regimes in Nigeria.
Olakitan who took part in the support given to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the last February 2023 Presidential election alongside other Nigerians in diaspora said the current leadership should also not hesitate in the adoption of technology to close the gap of fiscal leakages in the country.
In a chat with some media practioners in Lagos on Sunday Olakitan at the Eko hotel, he said:
“I must commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for kicking the ground running since his assumption into office on May 29, 2023. To his credit he has put an end to the controversial subsidy regime, similarly he made a very well thought out announcements about the harmonisation of the foreign exchange system through a rate that has now merged both the official and black market rates into one unified forex.
“He has also demonstrated knack for competence in the timely appointment of his kitchen cabinet members through introduction of men with flawless credentials that can advance national development. President Tinubu’s latest intervention is the move for the harmonization of the country’s tax regime, which is capable of addressing issue of multiple taxes being paid by individuals and corporate bodies, this is another feat that must be widely applauded, and of course these are signs of visionary and excellent leadership, and I am confident our country will be better for it.
The UK trained IT consultant further said:
“Both the monetary and fiscal policy authorities need to put all hands on deck in order to lift Nigeria’s economy out of its challenges. Nigeria should also start thinking inwards to diversify away from oil reliance while recovering from an economic deceleration remains an on-going quest and it will be interesting to see how far the nation has progressed by year end.”
According Olakitan, the current speed of Nigeria’s recovery under the administration of President Bola Tinubu could be described as steady, especially with the macro-fundamentals gradually stabilising since the suspension of the fraudulent subsidy regime. I remain optimistic that Nigeria will resurge from an economic troubles very fast while I also encourage the leadership to break away from dependence on oil as an engine for growth, such bold interventions will break all barriers and risks which could present headwinds on the road to recovery and socio-economic feats.
Olakitan emphasised the need for federal and state governments to shore up revenue in order to meet the budgetary gaps.
He noted that taxation all over the world has always been the most reliable and sustainable source of government revenue if well harnessed and effectively administered.
He further maintained that the current financial crisis is as a result of the country’s over-reliance on oil revenue.
“For us as a mono-product economy, the reliance on oil revenue in the previous years has exposed our dear country to huge revenue challenges and resulted in poor budget implementation across the three tiers,” Lanre said.
“Therefore, proffering solution to these nagging revenue challenges requires a deliberate strategic action plan and all of us in diaspora are grossly excited to see President Bola Ahmed Tinubu already moving in that purpose driven and positive direction.
“Taxation, in most advanced jurisdictions, has gone beyond the bricks-and-mortar model but relies more on data and intelligence which are driven by technology.
“The adoption of technology in revenue administration processes is crucial and a major enabler for enhanced and sustainable revenue generation in a globalized and knowledge-driven world, therefore Nigeria cannot be an exception.
“Without mincing words, revenue authorities at all levels must adopt automated processes and embrace e-solutions both in their internal operations and in dealing with the taxpayers within their respective jurisdictions. The need to further broaden and increase revenue generation at all levels by leveraging on ICT and adoption of technology will optimize and harness the various taxes and plug revenue leakages. The capacity of tax authorities to collect taxes efficiently and the ability of taxpayers to meet their tax responsibilities conveniently should never be undermined.”
He made the call for taxpayer-friendly and technology-driven revenue administrations in all 36 states of the federation, adding that each government must put necessary measures in place to mitigate against associated risks.
“Stakeholders must always be determined to facilitate the scale up of modern, taxpayer-friendly, and technology-driven revenue administrations in all states of the federation that will be capable of providing world-class services; characterized by efficient, paperless operations, and equipped with ICT-enabled risk-based enforcement capable of optimising their revenue mobilization strategies,” Olakitan stated.
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