The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Revenue, Zach Adedeji says the government will double the country’s total annual revenue which is currently below N15trn by deepening the nation’s revenue collection system and not by imposing extra taxes.
Adedeji, who made this known during a television dialogue on Monday, also said the Federal Government will harmonise all revenue-collecting agencies.
“Today, we collect under N15trn as the total annual revenue but our plan between now and the next three years is to double that revenue without increasing taxes and without bringing additional taxes,” he said. “We just want to deepen our collection system, we just want to simplify it into this data and technology and drive the revenue.”
According to the President’s revenue chief, Nigeria has a revenue problem but the current administration is prepared to tackle the challenge through fiscal discipline and harmonisation of revenue channels using technology to view all government revenue-collecting agencies in realtime.
“We’ve identified multiple taxes as one of the problems. Multiple generation and collection agencies, lack of technology, all these we’ve identified as major problems that confront our ability to generate what we need,” he said.
Adedeji said the current administration will formulate and implement sound economic policies and laws that will lead to prosperity for all.
He said most of the country’s tax laws are obsolete, noting that the recently established Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms chaired by Taiwo Oyedele will review the existing laws on economy and taxation and come up with realistic laws in consonance with current economic realities.
“If you look at our fiscal space, it is being governed by only two laws as of today. We have Finance Management Act of 1958 and Fiscal Responsibility Act,” Adedeji stated.
“The Stamp Duty Law was given to us by the British in 1939 when there was no internet,” he said, noting that the Oyedele-led committee will come up with fresh laws that reflect current economic realities.
The President’s revenue chief said the philosophy of the government is not to tax poverty and production but prosperity and consumption.
He sympathized with Nigerians over the hardship occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy. The President’s aide said the initial economic pain and inflation currently suffered by Nigerians is for a short time, assuring the people that they will soon start to smile under the Tinubu administration.
He also said the removal of petrol subsidy and the unification of foreign exchange rates has removed the “distortion we have in our economy”, saying Nigerians would soon begin to see the “windfall which I know will bring shared prosperity for all Nigerians”.