BusinessEconomy

Use tax policy as instrument of socio-economic change

Expert tells FG

By JOHNMRK UKOKO

Chairman of the Tax Appeal Tribunal, Lagos Panel 3, Prof. Abdulmumini Bala Ahmed, has advised the Federal Government to use tax to actualise its development plan for 2021 and 2022 with its tax policy and instrument of socio-economic change.

He said such plan must seek to provide a set of guidelines, rules and modus operandi that would regulate the Nigerian Tax System and provide effective and efficient bases for tax administration.

The tax expert stated that taxation remains an instrument of fiscal policy that could perform four economic roles for the development of Nigeria: allocate resources from private to public needs, general public policy instrument, promoter of economic growth and instrument to promote social change.

Ahmed who is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Bayero University, Kano (BUK), stated this at a public lecture in commemoration of 40th anniversary of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) held recently.

In his presentation titled: “Actualising Nigeria Development Plan 2021- 2025: The Critical Roles of Taxation and Fiscal Policies,” the law professional, argued that tax objectives without tax policies was like embarking on a journey without first deciding on the destination.

“The consequence of such endeavour will result in making one tax law after another trying to address specific problems (plug and play) and lack of stability in the taxation system.

“As the largest collection of professionals in Africa, the institute has a responsibility to ensure integrity of the taxation system, effective and efficient tax practice, clear tax objectives, right advice and proper right representations.

“A prospective tax system is not only about the level of taxation and the policy choices that determine it incidence also about the quality of tax law and the way we make tax policy,” he stressed.

Also, in his presentation at the event that attracted tax practitioners from across the country, President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Adesina Adedayo, said his institute was adding great value to the country’s economic development.

“It is without argument that the institute is adding meaningful value to national development in regulating the tax profession and bringing taxation issues to the front burner.

“Therefore, we consider it worth to reflect over the past years, celebrate what we have achieved; take congnisance of our shortcomings and to continue to reposition the institute for the next level of greatness. The evolving nature of taxation demands frequent interaction such as this to distill and analyse topical issues such as the ones
before us today.”

On his part, a former President of the institute, Dr. James Kayode Naiyeju, disclosed that the institute had grown from 20 members at inception to over 25,000 in its 40 years of existence, describing CITN and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) crisis as the turbulent challenge that the institute has face since 2004.

Among other taxation challenges, he listed multiple taxes and uncoordinated efforts of tax authorities to enforce the pockets of taxes in the country, as well as endemic corruption in the tax system

CITN faults tax practice, regulation, ICAN’s influence, amendment billing National Assembly.

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