‘Bold decisions needed’ — Ndume asks FG to abolish tax waivers

 


Ali Ndume, chief whip of the senate, says Wale Edun, minister of finance, should abolish tax waivers given to companies operating in Nigeria.

 

Ndume spoke in Abuja on Wednesday during an interactive session with Edun and the senate committee on appropriations.

 

In November, Taiwo Oyedele, chairman of the presidential tax reform committee, said tax incentives gulp N6 trillion every year.

 

Ndume said bold decisions needed to be taken noting that some companies are taking advantage of Nigeria “unnecessarily”.

 

 “I think we should be bold enough just like the president is very bold. I still want to use this opportunity to commend him for his speech to say there is no more fuel subsidy. If he were to consult and talk to people the subsidy would have still been there,” he said.

 

“So if you come out from here declare that no more waivers, [and] it must be appropriated – you as the minister of finance can do that.

 

“We have to make bold decisions. Some people are taking advantage of Nigerians unnecessarily and benefiting to the detriment of Nigerians.

 

 “We talk about tax credit. It is an expenditure and it should go through the national assembly and there are no two ways about that.”

 

Solomon Olamilekan, chairman of the appropriations committee, asked Edun what he thought of rebates for companies.

 

“What is your take that everybody pays what is expected of them in the government coffers and later ask for rebate,” he said.

 

In response, the minister said the country could have a system where companies pay their taxes and a rebate could be given to them afterwards.

 

 “I think we are all agreeing that we should try as much as possible to move to a system of exposure so that afterwards a rebate system rather than upfront granting of waivers and other incentives even including interest incentives,” Edun said.

 

“So if somebody is going to be given a concessional interest rate, they pay the normal interest carry out the transaction and then they get a rebate.”

 

Olamilekan added that since the country is in a “transitionary” period, tax waivers should be cut by 50 percent.

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