Post Views: 228 Photo Caption: Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo; the governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. K...
Photo Caption: Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo; the governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, during the sensitisation programme on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) hosted by the state government on Tuesday in Enugu.
Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday urged the country’s citizens to contribute to its growth and development by regularly paying taxes, thereby ensuring predictable revenue inflow.
Such revenue inflow, she said would ensure more investment by the Federal and State Governments in infrastructure, job and wealth creation across the nation, lamenting the situation where only 14m or 20% of Nigeria’s 70m economically active population pay tax.
Speaking at the sensitization programme on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) hosted by the Enugu State Government in the state capital, Adeosun explained that payment of taxes had become imperative to avoid the recent collapse in oil prices and the resultant recession.
A statement by Oluyinka Akintunde, her Special Adviser, Media & Communications, quoted the Minister as saying: “Payment of taxes is a fundamental requirement for our growth story.
“Nigeria has a very poor scorecard in tax payment. When oil came, we abandoned the old systems of tax collection that provided most of our infrastructure since colonial days.
“…So, many people who should be paying are not paying anything. It is the development of taxes that will help the States and the Federal Government to achieve their true potentials,” she stressed.
She assured that the Federal Government would avoid the boom and bust cycles by aligning with nations that have predictable revenues in order to ensure progressive improvements in the quality of life for the citizens.
The Federal Government, she recalled, has after years of neglect, revived Federal Road projects including the 9th Mile – Ngwo to Milken Hill to New Market.
“This government has recognised that infrastructure is the key to creating jobs, growth and wealth. We have already released N1.2 trillion in capital so far for the 2017 Budget, which commenced in June 2017 and most of this was applied to roads, bridges, rail, power, our airports and other key infrastructural projects.
“How will this capital investment translate to jobs? Not only do we get the direct jobs with construction companies and others but there is indirect opportunity for suppliers of building materials and aggregates.
“In the longer-term, efficient infrastructure reduces the costs of doing business and makes many ventures viable and profitable. We are seeing young entrepreneurs springing up to replace imported items with locally made goods of the highest standards, we are seeing export of foods and finished goods into international markets,” Adeosun said.
The VAIDS, the Minister, continued, was initiated to provide opportunity for tax payers to regularise their tax status relating to previous tax periods, stressing that tax defaulters who fail to take advantage of the VAIDS programme would be subjected to tax investigations, besides being made to face criminal prosecution for tax offences.
Also speaking at the occasion, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, who led a delegation, including his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Edward Uchenna Ubosi, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Finance for their “resourcefulness and dynamism” in the establishment of VAIDS.
He enjoined all tax payers to take advantage of the VAIDS to regularise their tax liability.
The governor appealed to the President and the Minister to prevail on federal agencies in Enugu State to pay their taxes, restating his administration’s commitment to growing its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The state’s IGR, according to him, has increased from N14bn in 2016 to N22bn in 2017.
The event was also attended by the State Commissioner of Finance, Eucharia Uche Offor; members of the State Executive Council, members of the Enugu State House of Assembly, and traditional rulers, among others.