Nigeria’s complex tax landscape, burdened by over 60 different forms of taxes and levies, is set for a major overhaul, according to Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms. In a recent interview on the Channels Television program ‘Sunrise Daily,’ Oyedele highlighted the need for simplification and reducing the tax burden on citizens, especially the less privileged.
Oyedele, speaking on the program, expressed concern that many of these taxes and levies had created a hardship for the poor in society. He emphasized that the primary objective of his committee was to streamline this taxing system, reducing the number of taxes and levies to less than 10, which would represent a remarkable 83.33 percent reduction.
“As of today, we have over 60 different taxes and levies. We think we should have less than 10 single digits,” Oyedele stated. He added that simplifying the tax system would not only ease the financial strain on citizens but also enhance revenue collection efficiency for the government.
One striking example Oyedele pointed out was the Market Traders Association’s requirement for seven different permits just to sell pure water. He attributed this excessive taxation to local governments, lamenting that these levies were not always remitted to the government’s coffers, exacerbating the burden on traders and the informal sector.
The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms also drew attention to some local governments taking advantage of constitutional levy payments, imposing taxes like the “wheelbarrow tax” and “pure water tax” on already struggling individuals. He stressed the need for greater transparency and accountability in tax collection processes.
Oyedele acknowledged the widespread mistrust that many Nigerians harbor towards the government as one of the reasons for tax evasion. He encouraged citizens to shift their focus towards holding the government accountable and advocating for transparency in public finances.
This effort to simplify and rationalize Nigeria’s tax system aligns with the broader goal of creating a more business-friendly environment and reducing the financial burden on individuals, ultimately fostering economic growth and development. As the committee continues its work, Nigerians will be watching closely to see how these proposed changes in taxation will shape the country’s fiscal landscape in the coming years.