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VP Shettima to tax professionals: FG is targeting boost in tax collection efficiency, not increase of burden

Shettima

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Vice President Kashim Shettima has restated the commitment of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to revamping the nation’s tax system without overburdening Nigerians.

In particular, he stated that the administration’s primary goal is to increase tax collection efficiency rather than to burden Nigerians with more taxes.

Speaking on Thursday at the Presidential Villa to a team from the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Vice President Shettima said that no Nigerian is happy with the illicit tax collection that non-state actors are carrying out throughout the nation.

Soliciting CITN’s insights on attracting foreign direct investment through competitive company tax rates, Senator Shettima said, “The focus of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is not to increase the tax burden on Nigerians but to improve the efficiency of tax collection. That is our fundamental motive.

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“As you go across every state, you get to at least five or six places where you have to pay all sorts of fictitious taxes that do not get to the pockets of the government,” he added.

The Vice President stressed the importance of collaborating with the CITN to adopt global best practices in tax administration, pointing out that “knowledge is not something you can buy in the market square; you have to earn it”.

In his remarks, CITN President, Samuel Agbeluyi, commended the Federal Government’s efforts to address the needs of Nigerians, citing the recent suspension of the Cyber Security Levy as a prime example.

He applauded the administration’s initiatives, including unifying exchange rates, attracting foreign investment, establishing the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, as well as deploying monetary policy measures to stabilise the naira, combat inflation, and recapitalize banks.

Agbeluyi outlined the CITN’s multi-pronged goals, chief among which is forging a strategic partnership with the government to ensure the smooth implementation of the fiscal policy committee’s recommendations.

He advocated the professionalisation of tax functions within government agencies, recognizing exemplary tax professionals and taxpayers through national honours, and fostering a robust working relationship between the CITN and the Vice President’s office on fiscal matters.

“We believe that our collaborative efforts will contribute significantly to the realisation of a tax system that is fair, transparent, and capable of driving Nigeria’s economic growth and development,” Agbeluyi stated.

The CITN pledged to provide technical and professional advice to the government at all levels, contributing to the development of an efficient tax system that fosters ease of doing business, accountability, and prudent utilization of taxpayers’ resources.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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