NBCC tasks President Buhari on power supply, tax policy

The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise solutions to power supply challenges and adequate implementation of policies in his second term.

Mr Akinola Olawore, President of NBCC, made the appeal in an interview in Lagos on Monday.

Olawore said that President Buhari should strive to proffer solutions to the power challenges affecting the country, since his administration had identified the problems behind the power crisis during his first term in office.

He said that if the country tackled the power challenges now, it would boost economic competitiveness and productivity.

“As we are complaining of illiquidity in the economy, citizens will be able to save money from fuel and from the inefficiencies of the power system; and all these will assist in improving our standard of living,” he said.

Olawore urged government to ensure adequate implementation of its various policies and reduce aggressiveness in its tax drive to ease the business environment.

“The aggressiveness of the tax drive does not augur well for the ongoing ease of doing business reform, because it is like it has unleashed the taxman on the people without guidelines.

“There is so much opaqueness in the tax operation and how it is being done and this is causing unnecessary distractions for businesses.

“If the tax operation is improved upon and made digital, government will know what each business is making and people will easily pay up.

“There will be no need for a taxman to input what is not made into your book and hold you to payment of ransom because the distractions of tax audit is keeping people away from their businesses,’’ he said.

According to him, the inadequate transparency in the tax system is discouraging some foreign investors, thus preventing inflows of the much-needed Foreign Direct Investments into the economy.

The NBCC president urged tax administrators to be more courteous and understanding so as to capture more businesses into the tax net and boost the growth of the economy.“If you want to put more people in the tax net, you do not have to go aggressive, you should first help them make money so that they can pay back from the money made,’’ he said.

Olawore said that government could boost profitability of businesses by easing the business environment, providing stable electricity, good road networks and transparency in its activities.

He also called for more sensitisation on investment opportunities in the country, saying that there were investors with funds, who lacked adequate knowledge of areas of investment.

“These people are keeping their money away and we do not need idle money.“The economy is large and money should move seamlessly so as to create wealth and job opportunities for the citizens,’’ the NBCC president said.

Olawore called for speedy implementation of the budget so as to inject liquidity, bridge infrastructure deficits, boost employment and stimulate economic growth. (NAN)