Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Joint Tax Board (JTB) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) have begun a sensitisation exercise for Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) on tax payment and their rights as taxpayers, a move calculated at stimulating economic growth in the country.
The Executive Chairman of FIRS and Chairman, JTB, Mr. Tunde Fowler, who spoke during the exercise Wednesday, described the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as the engine of economic growth, noting that the Nigerian economy needed the well-being and improvement of the MSMEs to grow, hence the need for the sensitisation.
Fowler, who was represented by the Director, Federal Engagement and Enlightenment Tax Teams (FEETT), Mr. Kunle Oseni, said: â€œThe MSMEs are recognised as the engine of economic growth and development in the developing economies with the capacity to effect wealth and income distribution as well as creating jobs even in stagnant economies.
â€œThe essence of this programme is to ensure that the process of tax payment is made less onerous.â€
The FIRS, he stressed, had taken various steps to support the MSMEs, including supporting the revision of the National Tax Policy (NTP) to reflect the realities of the economy; making tax payment easier as taxpayers can now pay their taxes online or at the FIRS office closer to them, and creating the FIRS FEETT.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of SMEDAN Umaru Radda said the agency works to ensure the optimum performance of the MSMEs and to protect their interests.
Radda, who was represented by the Director, Policy, Advocacy and Coordination, Mr. Monday Ewans, said: â€œThe role of the MSMEs is for job creation and serve as a tool for economic development. SMEDAN works with them to help to reduce unemployment. The need to sensitise the MSMEs is for the MSMEs to know their right.”
The meeting, which took place at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Conference and Exhibition Centre, Olowo Popo Drive, behind MKO Abiola, Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja attracted key players in the MSME subsector who urged the FIRS, JTB and SMEDAN to cascade the programme to local levels.