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NESG advocates reduction in taxes, competitive economy September 20, 2019
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The Nigerian Economic Summit Group has emphasised the need for the government to reduce the number of taxes levied on businesses in the country.

The NESG said out of about 3,000 forms of taxes operational across the country from the federal to the local government level, only four of them generated 96 per cent of government revenue.

The NESG Executive Director, ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, said this on Thursday during a courtesy visit to PUNCH Place in Magboro, Ogun State, preparatory to the group’s summit slated for October 7 and 8.

Jaiyeola also urged the Federal Government to ensure that modes of finance were prepared together with the budget.

He said, “You can spend all the time analysing budget. The question is, to what extent do we take it seriously? Not only that we should have a budget, but also we should also have a finance bill. You don’t talk just about the budget; you also talk about how to get the money to fund the budget.

“Part of the work we have done recently is to tell the government that there are so many taxes. There are over 3,000 taxes across Nigeria from federal to state and local government levels. Only four provide 96 per cent of government revenue. Part of the things we are telling the government is to streamline the taxes.”

Jaiyeola stated that the theme of the summit, “2050: Shifting Gears,” would examine how the government could prepare for Nigeria’s population projected to be the third biggest in the world by 2050.

The NESG CEO said the office of the Minster of Finance, Budget and National Planning had agreed to work with the group, noting that the summit would identify the key things to drive the economy.

He explained that after the event, a “green book” which is a summation of all the agreements reached at the summit would be presented to the Federal Executive Council for consideration.

“We also distil the conclusion into policy commissions where we have about 45 thematic areas, ranging from health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and even sport.

“The policy commission is a collection of public and private sectors. Their role is to constantly engage the government to ensure implementation.

“By 2050, it is established that if we go on present trajectory, Nigeria will be the third most populous nation in the world. The question is: how do we embrace that?

“Our vision is that Nigeria must be an economy that is competitive, market-driven, innovative and inclusive. Part of our major problems is lack of inclusion.”

Jaiyeola commended President Muhammadu Buhari for its new Economic Advisory Council and also urged the government to listen to its recommendations.

By THE PUNCH