Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday, warned that multiple taxation was an impediment to economic in the country.
The Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Commission, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, gave the warning, at a regional stakeholders’ workshop on multiple taxation and regulations in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, attended by a law lecturer, Mr. Temidayo Ashonibare, and various stakeholders among whom were representatives of state governments, experts and telecommunication companies.
Adewolu, while speaking on the theme, “Multiple taxation: An impediment to economic development,” explained that multiple taxation has continued to prove to be a bane on economic development in the country, stating that the aim of the workshop was to address the problem associated with multiple taxation and find a way to solve the problem.
He maintained that it was worthy of note to know that the National Tax Policy of 2017, emphasises the need to eradicate multiple taxation at all tiers of government, adding that the policy states that taxes similar to those being collected by a level of government should not be introduced by the same or another level of government.
Adewolu, while speaking further, said the paradox of multiple taxation was that it negatively impacts the ease of doing business, shrinks the tax base, incentivises tax evasion and complicate tax compliance.
According to him, “Despite the prospect of accelerated economic growth, the presence of multiple taxation, which the World Bank has termed ‘nuisance taxes’ has and continues to prove to be a bane on economic development in the country.
“However, before addressing how multiple taxation is an impediment to economic development, it is important to emphasise that taxation, in and of itself, is a veritable tool for economic development.
“The curious question, which this workshop will attempt to answer, is how a fiscal tool for economic development like taxation can become inimical to economic development.
“It is imperative therefore to correct some misconception about taxation, particularly the misguided notion of taxation as a penal tool on thriving business enterprise.”
Adewolu noted that taxation was the backbone for public finance as it provides guaranteed and sustainable sources of funding for social programs and public investments, insisting that it also serves as a tool curated by the government to effectively and efficiently distribute our commonwealth.
“It is thus evident that taxation is critical for making growth sustainable and equitable. Thus, taxation by design is an instrument for economic development and it is important to acknowledge and support the initiative of all tiers of government in using taxation as an instrument for socio-economic development.
“However, supporting the tax initiatives by the various tiers of government includes indicating where a category of taxes have become cancerous to economic development.
“These type of taxes typically manifests themselves in the form of multiple taxation and by design, they reverse growth, stifle innovation and discourage investment. In parabolic terms, they are the scarecrows mounted by government to disincentivise development.
“It is pertinent to note that the National Tax Policy 2017, emphasises the need to eradicate multiple taxation at all tiers of government. Specifically, the Policy states that taxes similar to those being collected by a level of government should not be introduced by the same or another level of government.
“The federal, state and local governments shall ensure collaboration in harmonising and eliminating multiple taxation,” he said.
He further declared that the paradox of multiple taxation was that it does not lead to an increment in government revenue, stating that the crippling effect of the taxes was that it makes otherwise profitable businesses, unprofitable and negatively impacts the ease of doing business, shrinks the tax base, incentivises tax evasion and complicate tax compliance.