By Nume Ekeghe and Ugo AliogoÂ
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, at the weekend disclosed theÂ resolve of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the economy in 2018,Â with theÂ plannedÂ launch of key growth initiativesÂ next month.
Enelamah,Â who disclosed in Lagos at theÂ launch of Andersen Tax, a global independent tax firm inÂ Nigeria, noted that the moveÂ was geared towards attracting investmentsÂ through Public-Private Partnership for the development of the economy.
He explained that governmentÂ was interested in the collaboration because of its drive for investment, and implementation around infrastructure and industry, furtherÂ addingÂ that â€œthis is the best way to implement the Economic,Â RecoveryÂ andÂ Growth Plan (ERGP).â€
TheÂ minister further stated that the growth model, which the federal government adopted,Â was used by Malaysia in restructuring their economy, adding that if the government is able to implementÂ the ERGP which involves restoring growth, investing in people and building the economy, jobcreationÂ would beÂ fast-tracked.
Enelamah added: â€œYou aware that government hasÂ an ongoinginitiative,Â which isÂ theÂ Voluntary Asset Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). The key is to create this social contract so that the people will be happy to pay their taxes and government will put these taxes to work.
â€œPaying taxes revolves around digitalisation. We also connect it to the ease of doing business because the more we put the taxes to work, the better we improve businesses. There are so many initiatives government wants to roll out.
â€œWe are doing things which revolve around making it easy for people to do business. We have created a web porter where people can complain, share other information they have and do business.
â€œAt the middle of March, federal government will be launching some key initiatives to in order to successfully attract investments in public and private partnership collaboration for the economy. We are interested in this collaboration particularly when it comes to investment, implementation around infrastructure and industry. This is really the best way to implement the ERGP.
â€œThis is a model that was used by Malaysia to improve their economy. If we are able to do what the ERGP says by restoring growth, investing in our people, and building our economy, you will agree with me that the jobs will come. If you look at our tax to GDP ratio when compared with other countries, you will realise that we are poorly.
â€œThe enabling environment and the ease of doing business initiatives are very important to this government. There is need for Nigerians to be tax complaint in order to support government efforts to revive the economy. There is connection between sustainable growth and payment of taxes.
â€œWhat is important to this administration is the enabling environment and the ease of doing business initiative. Last year, thisÂ government passed into law,Â the Credit Reporting Act and Collateral Registry Act. The ActsÂ aim at affording small and medium scale businesses enterprises the opportunity of accessing loan facilities by providing/using movable assets as securities.â€
Earlier in his remark, the Managing Director Andersen Tax Nigeria, Olaleye Adebiyi, said the company hadÂ built a solid track record over the years, establishing its footprints in Europe, Latin, Africa and Asia, stating that the company hadÂ been launched in Egypt and on April 1, it would be launched in Kenya.
He added that before the end of the second quarter of 2018 the company wouldÂ also expand its footprint toÂ South Africa and before the end of the third quarter, it would be launched in the United Kingdom,sayingÂ â€œwe are working to ensure that clients can be served seamlessly in all locations across the world. We want to be a catalyst for the improvement of the tax system in Nigeria.â€