‘Tax Reforms Should Be Targeted at Consumption’

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By Ugo Aliogo

The Partner, Advisory, West Africa, EY, Ben Afudego, has stated the need for the federal government to pursue tax reforms policy to focused on consumption tax, which according to him should not be differentiated.

Afudego, who disclosed this in Lagos during a media parley recently, said the products and services that are consumed more by the high net worth individuals should attract more tax, while the products and services that are consumed by those with low income should attract little tax.

“Why can’t we have a tax regime that is targeted at consumption and VAT is a consumption tax. If VAT is properly structured, money can be realised from it. I think the challenge is not about Nigerians paying tax, it is about governance. When you pay the tax, you are not sure of how the money is used,” Afudego noted.  

Earlier in his remarks, the Partner and Advisory, Africa, India and Middle East (AIM) EY, Hennie Human, noted that two years ago, they started to consider their businesses across Africa, India and the Middle East market and identified that the real drivers exist specially from a client perspective.

He also stated that due to their clients’ need for a seamless integrated service in the emerging markets; they started with the integration of the advisory businesses across Africa, India and Middle East, “this has pulled together more than 7,000 consultants across these three areas.”

Human, who disclosed that they have the largest emerging market consultancy in the world through the integrated vehicle, noted that some of the key reasons for the integration of AIM was to look at how to accelerate growth across all three markets of Africa, India and the Middle East.

He added that they are also looking on how to improve profitability of delivery across these three markets.

According to him: “We are also looking at leveraging investments and making sure that we get the most from our investment from these markets. An important driver was to increase resilience at any point in time for any of our markets because there are different cycles.

“We have an incredible amount of intellectual property across these three markets. Like what happens in business, it is not integrated, the intellectual states local.

“This AIM integration vehicle gives the opportunity to utilise the intellectual property that gets created in a Nigeria market, Egypt or the India market. What it also gives us a vehicle to assess very specific skills across the different markets.

“It gives us the ability to utilise very specific skills in the different needs that our clients have by pulling more 7,000 people across these three geographical regions.

“What we have found is that our needs and our client needs are becoming more specific, as our advice to them go deeper into the different sectors, that gives us the ability to put the right person at the right place; to make sure we optimise the value to our clients.”