Post COVID-19: FG explores indirect tax, ICT to shore up revenue, says Finance Minister



By Haruna Salami
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has reiterated the Federal Government’s determination to explore all possible avenues, including indirect taxation such as Information and Communication Technology, ICT driven tax to shore up the country’s revenue.
She spoke when the chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria,CITN Abuja and District Society visited her Ministry on sensitization mission to mark this year’s tax week.
The minister who spoke through a director in the ministry,  Fatima Hayatu said because of the experience during the COVID-19 lockdown the tax drive is being redirected to ICT.
“We have all seen from the COVID-19, we were all in lock down,  but we were using our phones and technology; that is why we are now going to ICT driven tax and we are going to be taxing more of the digital technology.
She said Post COVID-19 indirect taxation is where most of the taxes will be coming from.
The theme; ‘Tax, Politics and social contract’ is very apt in the present situation. Nigeria needs all the tax more than before. As a ministry, we will give the CITN all the support it needs to carryout it’s basic duties.
Chairman of FCT Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Alhaji Abdullahi Attah said considering the fact that the country is now seriously looking for money and oil is dwindling the next option is taxation.
Speaking through Director Human Resources in FCT IRS Muhammad Jada, he said there is every need to take taxation seriously and ensure that the trust reposed in them is not be betrayed.
“It is an important organization and an important week where the trust and the integrity is the key.”
The chairman CITN Abuja district Dr Nwabuzor Emeke said they are organising the annual tax week as a week they lay emphasis on tax advocacy and sensitisation.
“This year we have chosen the topic that has to do with tax, politics and Social Contract. What we are trying to say is that we are looking at it from two perspectives of citizens paying their taxes and equally encouraging government to fulfil its own side of the bargain so that when Nigerians see what the hellovernment is doing with the proceeds from tax they would be encouraged to pay more taxes.
He said in so doing they CITN Abuja district is organizing a seminar Tuesday at Merit House, where about four eminent professors will speak on issues of taxation. “The issue of tax cannot be over emphasised because we all know what Nigeria is going through in terms of the dwindling oil revenue.
At the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, CITN  Chairman, Dr Nwabuzor said  the government is deploying more efforts on tax issues, which rests on FIRS shoulders and CITN that regulate tax in Nigeria, adding that CITN is partnering with FIRS to ensure that FIRS achieve the target that is given to it by the Federal Government.
The chairman of FIRS Muhammed Nami said they attach importance to the Relationship between FIRS and CITN as many directors in FIRS are also members of CITN.
Represented by the Coordinating Director, Digital Support Group of the FIRS, Dr. Achiek Maidugu said he said the CITN is part and parcel of of the FIRS.
“FIRS holds CITN in high esteem as critical stakeholder. We appreciate and always identify with CITN”, adding that they have been supporting CITN snd they will continue the partnership.