By Franca Ofili
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says improved tax system is vital for sustained economic growth and development of the country.
Alhaji Abubakar Al-Mujtaba, its Second Deputy President, made the observation at the special day of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at the 12th Abuja International Trade Fair on Friday.
The theme of the ongoing fair is “Returning Nigeria to the Path of Sufficiency through Non-Oil Exports’’.
According to him, taxation is a veritable tool to achieve sustainable economic development to generate the needed revenue for the nation’s growth and development.
Al-Mujtaba said targeted reforms such as Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration, Tax Amnesty and championing the review of the national tax policy were bold steps that had impacted positively on revenue base of the nation.
“It has been theoretically and empirically confirmed that government’s spending has direct impact on real economic development.
“It is therefore imperative for government to generate sufficient revenue internally because, internally generated revenue is less volatile and does not constitute huge dead weight like debt servicing and charges to the economy.
“Taxation has, therefore, become an imperative for sustained growth and development.
“Revenue generated from tax is less volatile, inclusive, encourages accountability and is not subject to vagaries of the international economy.
“Nations that have broken the shackles of underdevelopment have looked inward for generating their revenue through taxation by promoting efficiency of their tax system,’’ he said.
Mr. Babatunde Fowler, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, said the country saw the need to generate revenues that would reduce the over dependence on oil.
Fowler, represented by Salihu Alkali, the North Central Zonal Coordinator in FIRS, said the service had created several channels to ensure that people were not unduly overtaxed and malpractices were eliminated.
He said that tax clearance could only be delayed where there appeared to be some ambiguities, stressing that certificates would be issued only after successful completion of the process. (NAN)