New Telegraph

10th NASS Can Use Tax Reform To Boost Economy – Abbas

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas has said one of the ways by which the National Assembly can legislatively address the current economic challenges facing Nigeria is through tax reforms.

He said the 10th House had already captured this in its much-awaited Legislative Agenda.

Abbas made this known on Thursday at the opening of a two-day retreat for members of the Senate on fiscal policy and tax reforms in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

He said: “Over the years, the National Assembly has responded proactively to these issues and promoted economic reforms emphasising ease of doing business.

“We in the 10th House of Representatives intend to work with the Executive and stakeholders to improve the coherence of our tax system, both in terms of administration and operation.

“Accordingly, the Fourth Legislative Priority in our Legislative Agenda is Economic Restructuring. It captures our commitment to supporting economic diversification to reduce dependence on oil and increase development in other sectors, including mineral resource mining, manufacturing, agro-processing, textile, tourism, technology and general services.”

He added that the 10th House would use legislative measures to provide incentives on tax breaks to encourage innovations, and for industries that have the potential for job creation and export growth.

“A key priority for us is to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to open up markets and promote economic cooperation and growth.

“We have also prioritised developing laws that streamline business registration to make it quicker and more affordable and reduce bureaucratic red tape.

“Equally important to us is simplifying the tax system, reducing multiple taxation and offering incentives for sectors critical to growth,” the Speaker stated.

Abbas listed some pertinent questions to consider at the retreat including: How can the tax system be simplified to minimise administrative and compliance costs without undermining fiscal solvency?

“How can the government prioritise evidence-based studies in designing the tax structure to minimise the economic, administrative and compliance costs of taxation? And in what ways can we re-organise our revenue authority to make it function-based?

He added: “Above all, we must intensify our efforts at ensuring effective oversight of the utilisation of tax revenues to ensure that they are optimally deployed for the good of the people we represent.

“The connection between democracy and taxation is evident in the famous phrase ‘no taxation without representation,’ which highlights the importance of citizen participation in decision-making processes.”

The speaker reiterated the commitment of the House to collaborate with the Senate in addressing the challenges faced by the nation through the implementation of appropriate legislative frameworks and measures.

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