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Nigeria's Senate Committee Calls for Halt to Tax Waivers to Boost Revenue

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Nigeria's Senate Committee Calls for Halt to Tax Waivers to Boost Revenue

The Senate Committee on Appropriations has expressed deep concern over Nigeria's fiscal policy, specifically the practice of granting tax waivers and concessions to corporate entities. The committee has recommended that companies first fulfill their full tax obligations, subsequently seeking rebates if needed, a significant shift from the present protocol of upfront tax incentives. This suggestion aims to boost the government's revenue generation capabilities.

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A Shift in Fiscal Policy

The committee's call to halt tax waivers and concessions is backed by solid evidence. The finance minister revealed an alarming statistic: Nigeria lost approximately N3 trillion to tax waivers within a year. This loss hampers the country's fiscal sustainability, considering the ongoing budgetary needs and development priorities.

Transitioning to a Rebate System

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Members of the committee have highlighted the necessity of bold decisions, referencing President Bola Tinubu's stance on ending fuel subsidies. They have emphasized the importance of preventing certain entities from gaining undue advantage at the nation's economic cost. The shift from upfront tax waivers to a rebate system aligns with the goal of promoting fairness and equity in taxation. The recommended practice of companies paying their taxes in full before applying for rebates suggests a change in the tax policy, emphasizing accountability and compliance.

Practical Implementation and Future Implications

However, the recommendation has sparked discussions about the practicalities of implementing such a policy. The complexities involved in transitioning to a rebate system highlight the need for an in-depth and comprehensive approach. The federal government's fiscal policy and tax reform committee has pledged to seriously consider these recommendations, demonstrating a willingness to engage with legislative input and highlighting the collaborative nature of policy development.

The implications of the committee's recommendations go beyond immediate fiscal concerns. By advocating for a change in tax policy, the committee signals a broader commitment to strengthening Nigeria's revenue generation capabilities and fostering a transparent and equitable fiscal environment. As the government ponders the feasibility and implementation of these recommendations, there is a chance to reshape the country's fiscal framework, setting the stage for sustainable economic development and equitable governance.

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