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Oyedele says harmonization of taxes ‘ll widen Nigeria’s tax net

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…Sanwo-Olu set to prone multiple taxations.

Comfort Ekeleme and Ibrahim Quadri



The Chairman of of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, has expressed optimism that harmonisation of over 60 taxes being collected currently to five will widen the country’s tax net.


Oyedele said this at a public consultation workshop for journalists and public analysts on Thursday in Lagos.


The workshop had the theme: “Proposed Changes to the National Tax Policy, Tax Laws and Administration.”


He said that the tax revenue of the country would increase with the harmonisation of over 60 taxes being collected presently to five taxes.


Oyedele said that Nigeria would make more money from effective collection of five taxes rather than the over 60 taxes.


“We think that Nigeria can make 10 times what we’re making now from over 60 taxes from five and it’s not by asking anybody to pay an extra amount, it is by ensuring that people who are not paying are paying.


“Apart from the revenue we generate, it addresses a fundamental issue of not rewarding bad behaviour.


“Anyone who is doing business today and not charging Value Added Tax (VAT) is getting an incentive and anyone who is charging is getting disincentivised,” he said.


Oyedele added that exemption VAT from basic consumptions would reduce inflation in the country.


He explained that VAT increases cost of doing business, cost of food, rent and transportation.


“VAT today increases the cost of doing business and it makes the cost of food, health, education, transportation and to a large extent rent to go higher than it needs to be.


“That is where the majority of our people spend their money. Our proposal says to take out the VAT on those basic consumption so that the cost would come down.


“But that does not mean that the government would lose a lot of money, we would adjust the rate of VAT to go up on other items that are not in that category, so that the government will still collect the rest but not significantly less so that they can approve the reforms.


“We will now tell them that where their money would come from is getting people who were evading VAT to stop evading and we have the data to show that a lot of people are collecting VAT and not remitting to the government, some are not charging it and I’m not talking about small businesses”, he said.


He added that the informal sector would be exempted from taxes because most them were struggling.


According to him, 95 per cent of informal sector will be exempted from taxes legally to boost economic growth and development.


“With our proposal, many companies would not have to pay company income tax, if you are too small, your company income tax should be zero per cent. It is the principle that if you are too small, just live your life and grow but those who are above the threshold and we are certain, you have to pay.

“Currently, 30 per cent plus many others but we are proposing that should come down to 25 per cent, maybe reduce it by two and a half per cent in 2025, another two and half per cent in 2026 because sometimes you don’t want to drop all the revenue at once.


Otherwise, you will not get the approval of the policymakers.

On some of the reforms implemented by the current administration, Oyedele said the reforms were necessary to stabilise the economy.

He described the reforms as national emergency caused by high public debt and low government revenue.


Oyedele noted that the three tiers of government must work together to boost revenue to develop the country.


He also stressed the need for prioritisation of education, health, nutrition and sanitation, among others.


Oyedele urged Nigerians to amplify positive developments in the country instead of dwelling on the negatives, especially on the social media.


The  Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee was inaugurated on Aug. 8, 2023.


It was tasked with the mandate of addressing critical challenges around three main pillars namely fiscal governance, revenue transformation and economic growth facilitation.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Government on Thursday set a roadmap for the practitioners in hospitality sector, saying collaborative efforts for ease of doing business to thrive must be enhanced.


This was the highpoint of a one-day stakeholders’ engagement with the hospitality sector practitioners at Eko Hotel, Lagos.


With the roadmap, the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu is putting a new approach in place to address multiple taxations to safeguard businesses.


The event was with the theme, Addressing Current Industry Challenges, Exploring Emerging Trends, Understanding Policy Frameworks and Unveiling Collaborative Opportunities within the entire Hospitality Value Chain.


In her keynote address, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka said with the new trends in the hospitality industry, there was need to improve the sector.


She said, “It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this important engagement session with tourism stakeholders in the hospitality sector and I feel honoured to address you today on the critical issues, emerging trends, and opportunities within our industry.


“You will agree with me that this gathering is long overdue considering happenings in the hospitality sector, emerging trends and the need for us to always share views on how to improve this sector and continue to operate in line with acceptable best practices.


“With this gathering, we want to address these challenges head-on. We must adapt to the changing landscape by embracing new technologies and sustainable practices.


“Emerging trends in this sector such as digital transformation, eco-tourism, and personalized customer experiences are reshaping the way we operate. It is imperative that we stay ahead of these trends to remain competitive and relevant.


“In Lagos State, we are committed to creating an enabling environment for the hospitality sector to thrive. Our policy frameworks are being continually reviewed to ensure they support growth, innovation, and sustainability. We are also focused on improving infrastructure, enhancing security, and promoting Lagos as a prime tourist destination.”


While seeking for cooperation on new methodology that would be adopted,  Benson-Awoyinka noted, “You must also agree with me that data is important not only for growth and expansion but also for security of lives and property within and around your establishments.


“The fact remains that collaboration is key to achieving our objectives. By working together, we can create a seamless and memorable experience for tourists who depend on such data in that critical decision on destination choice.


“From our local artisans to hoteliers, travel agencies, and transport providers, every stakeholder in the entire value chain has a crucial role to play. We must leverage our collective strengths to build a robust and resilient hospitality sector.”


Speaking on the topic, ‘Enhancing Compliance in the Hospitality Sector,’ various state government agencies emphasized on the need to ensure for compliance to have more thriving business environment.


The General Manager, Lagos State Safety Commission, LSSC, Mr Lanre Mojola said  accidents should always be zerolized.  “Whenever there is accident it sometimes result to fatalities.


“For us, it is to have citizens that go to work, go home and do their activities without having accidents. Safety is zerolizing harms.”


He added, “Safety starts with leadership, I’m happy leaders in hospitality sector are here. Safety with what we do, what we eat, on our roads is necessary. Safety commission is to put measures in place to take out risks.”


GM Lagos State Parking Authority, LASPA, Mrs Adebisi Adelabu said, “If you have an event center or  hotel, you should have enough parking space. Our success is to create a Lagos that everybody understands his or her responsibility. Whenever you go out aways ask yourself, where do I park? How much are they paying for parking?


“We are not here to destroy your businesses. Success to us is to make sure you comply with government rules on parking,” she stated.


Special Adviser on Transportation, Hon Sola Giwa stressed there was no way you could have vibrant event without proper transportation.


“As a transport ministry, ours is to plan properly: how people can get to their destinations with ease. For us to get it right, we must be able to sacrifice.” Giwa advised.


On his part, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, Ayodele Subair maintained “Without finance you can hardly do anything, you can’t drive development.


“We simply implement the tax laws, we are not to disrupt your business. We want everyone to comply with the law of the land. It is our objective to minimize the cost of business law.


He hinted that, “We have leveraged on technology, we are trying to ensure that there is adequate compliance. We have developed e-tax to allow for transparency and accountability. What we are doing is to minimize human interaction.”


Special Adviser to the Governor on Tax, AbdulKabir Ogungbo ssid,  “One good thing about this ministry is putting everyone in the same room. We need to clarify misconception, the payment of tax is an obligation of the law. Everyone of us wants good infrastructure so revenue is our contribution and responsibility you are giving to government.”


He disclosed that the Governor had approved a platform that allows business owners to interact with all the agencies so that they could operate behind the scene without having to meet physically with any Government agency.


General Manager Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, Dr Tunde Ajayi said, “If your facility is not sound proof, do away with  speakers. What we are clamouring for is to have violence free environment, there is enough of noise. For every environment, there is permissible sound.”


Speaking on the topic, ‘Public-Private Partnership; Strengthening Collaborative Efforts the practitioners took time to voice out their grievances.


President Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos, Chief Alabi, pointed out that there are multiple taxes, saying it was erroneous to say land use charge is not a tax, adding “Experts tell us land use charge is property tax.”


CEO & Founder of Coco Beach, Hotels & Resorts, Mr Richard Shittu said, “We should address multiple taxation, that is the only way we can have collaboration.”


He queried, “How do we drive tourism when there is no power? If there is enough power and energy, I believe private sector will fill the gap.”

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