NCC Addresses Multiple Taxation’s Negative Impact on Economic Development
In a significant address during a workshop focused on Nigeria’s economic development, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, an Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) highlighted the severe challenges posed by multiple taxation to the nation’s economic growth.
He noted that Nigeria, not only Africa’s most populous country but also its largest economy, holds immense potential for growth.
However, the presence of multiple taxation, often referred to as ‘nuisance taxes’ by the World Bank, continues to impede the realization of this potential.
In his keynote speech, Mr. Adewolu underscored the importance of taxation as a tool for economic development when used judiciously, stating that taxes provide essential funding for social programs and public investments, contributing to sustainable growth and equitable wealth distribution.
The central question addressed during the workshop was how taxation, a fundamental fiscal tool for development, could become a hindrance.
According to him, Multiple taxation, as defined by the National Tax Policy 2017, refers to the imposition of similar taxes on the same income, transaction, or individual by various levels of government.
Paradoxically, multiple taxation fails to boost government revenue. Instead, it undermines otherwise profitable businesses, hampers the ease of conducting business, and encourages tax evasion.
The administrative burden associated with compliance further exacerbates these challenges, rendering Nigeria less attractive to businesses and diminishing its global competitiveness.
Mr. Adewolu stressed that the solution lies in harmonizing and eliminating multiple taxation, as outlined in the National Tax Policy 2017.
Collaboration between federal, state, and local governments is essential to achieve this goal.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has taken steps to address this issue by signing Executive Orders aimed at curbing arbitrary taxes and establishing a Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms to engage stakeholders and create a favorable environment for both local and foreign investments.
Mr. Adewolu however urged adherence to fundamental taxation principles, including neutrality, efficiency, certainty, effectiveness, fairness, and flexibility.
He expressed optimism that the workshop would help dispel misconceptions about taxation and drive the eradication of multiple taxes.
This, in turn, would create a more business-friendly environment, allowing Nigeria’s economy to flourish.
The workshop serves as an invitation for both public and private sectors to recognize taxation as a win-win solution for steering the nation’s economic course toward prosperity.