The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, has said the parliament would enact laws that would effectively eliminate multiple taxation in Nigeria.
Kalu, made this known on Wednesday, in Abuja, while speaking at the World Bank Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project (FGIP) Focus Group Discussion.
The deputy speaker in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Levinus Nwabughiogu, said under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, Nigeria has embarked on a path of fiscal reform that directly addresses some of the most pressing issues in the tax system and overall fiscal policy.
The deputy speaker stressed that the commitment to reform was a testament to the dedication of the federal government towards achieving a more robust and equitable economic landscape.
Kalu noted: “One of the paramount challenges we are currently addressing as a government, is the issue of tax multiplicity, a labyrinthine web of taxes that has placed undue burdens on both individuals and businesses.
“Simplifying and rationalising this system is imperative to alleviate the compliance burden and to foster an environment conducive to economic growth.
“In parallel, we have recognised the necessity of modernising revenue collection through automation. This strategic move enhances efficiency and, equally important, reduces opportunities for corruption and revenue leakage.
“Furthermore, we are in the process of streamlining the multitude of revenue-collecting agencies as a government. This streamlining initiative aims to improve coordination and, crucially, reduce duplicity in tax administration, ultimately making our system more efficient, transparent and accountable.”
He added: “In the realm of tax legislation which is actually one of your objectives to get the buy in of the legislators, there are promising opportunities to introduce comprehensive reform bills that encompass a wide spectrum of objectives, including simplification, modernisation and consolidation of tax laws.
“These reforms hold the potential to bring about increased clarity and efficiency, benefiting both taxpayers and tax administrators.”
Kalu, pointed out that the parliament must consider how tax legislation could be strategically crafted to stimulate economic growth which while maintaining fairness and equity within the tax system.
He said this entails a thorough examination of tax incentives, deductions, and credits to ensure they align with overarching development goals.
According to him, consolidating tax codes by merging related provisions into one comprehensive law was another avenue to make the tax system more accessible and comprehensible for all stakeholders involved.
Kalu, assured that some sections of the constitution would be amended to introduce flexibility to the tax policy reforms.
He noted: “Within the ongoing constitutional amendment process, we intend to explore opportunities to amend pertinent sections that will provide greater flexibility for fiscal and tax policy reforms.
“This may involve decentralising certain tax powers, centralising others (as exemplified by the inclusion of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the Exclusive Legislative List), or introducing mechanisms for the automatic adjustment of tax rates based on economic indicators.
“Our tireless endeavors in the realm of tax and fiscal policy, led by President Bola Tinubu, signify a significant transition towards a more efficient, equitable, and investment-friendly environment. As legislators, we shoulder the responsibility of shaping the future of our nation’s fiscal landscape.
“By simplifying tax-related bills, motions, and constitutional alteration bills in a manner that fosters economic growth and streamlines our tax system, we can collectively contribute to the sustainable development and prosperity of Nigeria. Let us persistently work together to advance these critical reforms for the betterment of all Nigerians”, he said.