Expert Identifies Taxation As Viable Alternative To Oil

By Nura Adamu

A financial expert, Mr Friday Ameh Agbo has called on federal government to focus on restructuring taxation as a viable source of alternative revenue to oil.

According to the taxation expert, the value-added tax should be domiciled at the local level, reduced to between 0.01% to 5% and made to cover a wider range of goods including food and household goods.

He said the state and federal governments should concentrate on personal and company income tax, which should also be redesigned.

Addressing a technical session in Kaduna , with the theme; “An alternative model on restructuring taxation as a tool for economic diversification and good governance”, Ameh said instead of heating the polity on political restructuring, the government should instead restructure taxation to diversify Nigeria’s source of revenue.

Speaking on the challenges of governance in Nigeria, Agbo argued that, a taxation is a tool that Nigeria can use as an index to breach the gap in governance. He argued that all withholding tax (company income tax) should be attributed to the Federal Government.

“Tax is seen as a source of generating revenue for the government. Tax can also serve as a tool for economic planning. Two tax elements that can be repositioned as economic tools are value-added tax and withholding tax. Value added tax collected at the point of sales can be used to capture all the economic activities in Nigeria,” he said.

In a remark, another tax expert, Olaitan Adegoke who chaired the event, stated that, “we professionals left everything in the hands of politicians. It is when you have a structure on the ground which is not matching the yearnings and aspiration of the people that you talk about restructuring. Everybody talks of restructuring the way it suits them.”

He said that politics that is not talking about the economy is not favorable and people will begin to groan as a result of hardship. Adegoke said that excessive tax is harmful to the economy, just as too little tax will also harm the economy.