27 July 2017

Nigeria: Is Taxation the Alternative to Vanishing Oil Revenue?

opinion

Fluctuations in international crude oil prices have direct impact on the foreign revenue accruing to Nigeria, which still largely depends on oil revenue. Although agriculture has been identified as a viable alternative revenue source, some analysts believe effective taxation would boost the coffers of the national treasury. Given the recent presidential directive to tax defaulters and reports that majority of citizens hardly pay direct taxes, can taxation help plug the yawning income gap arising from reduction in oil revenue, to ensure continuity in the country's growth and development process?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* Yes, of course, taxation is a great alternative to our freely vanishing oil revenue that we so heavily depended upon. The negative impact on our economy is devastating and better imagined. But with our huge human and natural resources, direct tax especially on corporate entrepreneurs will surely solve this puzzle of ours. In Europe e.t.c. it is the norm and saving grace ab initio. Lagos is doing great with tax laws and implementation. Taxation must get serious now for this true panacea to work.

- Mr. Apeji Onesi. Lagos State

* Taxation is not an alternative to downward revenue from oil, but it can be a viable alternative revenue source for government. Agriculture is still the best alternative to vanishing oil revenue.

- Mr. Yusuf Muh'dbashir Omotayo, Nda-Aliu, Kwara State

* Most of the developed countries use taxation as a means of development of the infrastructure with effective and good administration and collections, but here in Nigeria's it is a different case because an average citizen of Nigeria hardly sees what the government does with the taxes they all claim they collect. There should be taxes on various businesses, manufacturing, and vehicle importation, music and radio advertisements and high taxation on hospitality for people travelling abroad to seek for medical checkup and importations of luxury goods from outside the country; while re-introduction of toll gates on taxes payment for road users is necessary in this economic meltdown.

- Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Abuja

* Yes, taxation can boost Nigeria's revenue, but government should also consider other avenues, as this only cannot meet our national development and growth needs.

- Ms Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos

* There should be general pay cut from top to bottom for government officials at state and federal levels, political office holders, the National Assembly and State Legislatures e.t.c, for a specific period of time as sacrifice for their commitment to national growth and development progress. Not taxation; if taxation is introduced it is another window for corrupt looters.

- Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Yes, taxation is the obvious and best alternative to our unfortunately vanishing oil revenue. Europe is an excellent example of a tax-based economy. The enormous results speak volumes. Lagos state is on the verge of breaking through with the tax regime. The population of Nigeria is a gigantic advantage still lying fallow. We must act fast and grab this opportunity to stop it from wasting. God bless Nigeria.

- Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* The issue of taxation is one this country has to handle intelligently and we really need to adopt best practices obtainable elsewhere. You hear corporate citizens of this country bemoaning multiple taxation on one hand, and on the other hand, we're told only 14 million Nigerians pay tax. Yes, I agree, more Nigerians need to pay tax; however, proper records should be kept always and the money prudently expended.

- Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja

* I believe this government of APC is doing well in agriculture to boost our revenue growth since oil price is not stable globally to boost internal revenue drive for infrastructural development and other sundry. After all, agriculture was the back-bone of internal revenue of this nation in early 50s and 60s before crude oil was recovered. Forcing us to pay tax, when we have enough resources to boost our internally generated revenue for development, is totally unacceptable.

- Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Whether we like it or not, the answer is obvious. Even during the heydays of oil revenue, Nigeria was not supposed to banish taxation. Even without being an alternative to the vanishing oil revenue, it makes one feel like a true citizen as you contribute to the nation's development. There is that competition so as not to be looked down upon as each person wants to outsmart the other in coming first. The lack of taxation revenue has made become like parasites. The earlier taxation is embraced, the less likelihood we have of vanishing as a nation.

- Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Definitely, taxation should be a major source of revenue for any serious country. In our clime, however, there is a large gap in trust between the citizens and the government (s), so citizens don't see payment of taxes as a duty/obligation. They complain of government's profligacy and inability to fulfill its duties. Once government starts showing more responsibility in its actions, the level of compliance in taxation will rise. Lagos is a good example. Government must also ensure that economic plans and actions lead to more productivity in every sector of the economy; economic growth that comes with gainful employment not one where there is growth and unemployment. The drive to plug holes, bring more people into the tax net and shore up government revenues should not be limited to the agricultural sector alone, it should span all sectors.

- Mr. Aiyegbusi Abiodun, Engineer, Lagos State

* Taxation without productivity will not lead to sustainable development. States like Lagos and Ogun can generate good taxes because they have a productive economy. The real sector of the economy should never be relegated when it comes to revenue generation. In addition to creating the conducive environment required for the businesses to thrive, making sure that existing companies remain in business should be a priority for government; especially if they desire improved revenue through taxes.

- Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Although I still prefer agriculture as the best revenue-generating alternative to dwindling crude oil revenue, taxation, if done in an innovative and people-friendly manner, is also ideal to boost our income for development purpose. Luxury items should attract higher taxes and the rich, who are more adept at tax avoidance and evasion, should be monitored strictly to ensure appropriate tax compliance. And when the amnesty period for tax defaulters expires, serial offenders should be fined heavily and jailed for economic sabotage. That will be a good deterrent to other potential tax evaders.

- Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE FEEDBACK

Yes, it is: 9

No, it not: 2

Others: 1

Radical tip: Jail defaulters!

No of respondents: 12

Male: 10

Female: 2

Highest location: Lagos (5)

Next Week: Will State Police Improve Overall Security?

State governors recently set up a committee to explore the option of actualising state police units, in addition to the existing federal Police Force; after a closed-door meeting with the Inspector-General of Police in Abuja. This, according to the governors, is to enable the Police ensure better security for the citizens all over the country. However, some analysts argue that some state police formations may be mis-used and turned into private armies by the governors. To you, will state police improve overall security in Nigeria?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (July 27 & Monday, July 31) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, August 3

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