CITN Tasks FG to Review Treaties with Developed Economies

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Stories by Omolabake Fasogbon

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, has charged the federal government to review existing treaties with advanced economies to strengthen synergy and economic diplomacy.

President of CITN, Dame Olajumoke Simplice, during the 22nd Annual Tax Conference of the institute, also urged the authority to enter into more treaties with developed economies and release of additional Avoidance of Double Taxation Treaties, in order to make local economy more competitive and attractive.

While speaking on the theme of the conference, “Taxation and Economic Competitiveness: Imperatives for National Development,” Simplice maintained that the role of taxation in development and sustenance discourse cannot be over emphasised.

She added that the theme for the conference was apt, considering how COVID-19 has dealt with the economy, and that it reflected well on the ongoing recovery efforts.

She said, “The theme was borne out of the institute’s desire to advance taxation as an essential tool for promoting macroeconomic goals of achieving full employment, income redistribution and competitive environment for businesses, amongst others.”

According to the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, Nigeria has almost reached its maximum borrowing capacity considering the paltry six per cent tax ratio to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 18 per cent total debt ratio to GDP.

As a result of this situation, el- Rufai said, “Nigeria needs to start developing tax extraction capacity and create an effective tax system that will influence structural change.”

While delivering the lead paper, Group Managing Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Olakunle Alake, stressed that Nigeria needs to improve its economic competitiveness to effectively compete in global space.

Quoting the 2019 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) report by the World Economic Forum, Alake said, “While Nigeria may have improved marginally in its overall performance, it has moved downward from 115th in 2018 to 116th position in 2019, due to the pace of faster climbers.

“For Nigeria to take her right place in the committee of nations, she would have to place priority on issues like expanding tax net, ensure transparency in government dealings, place a premium on infrastructure facilities as well as consistent review of her fiscal and monetary policies, amongst others,” he said.