Nigeria: Govt Urged to Eliminate VAT On Capital Market Investments

28 November 2019

The federal government has been urged to eliminate value added tax on commission and fees paid by investors to stockbrokers while investing in the capital market.

Partner, Financial Service Group, Deloitte Tax Function, Mr. Taiwo Okunade, who made the call at the Sixth Triennial Delegates Conference organised by the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) in Lagos, yesterday, said that government must ensure elimination of multiple tax audits currently discouraging investment.

According to him, government must come up with a mechanism for collaboration between the federal government and the state government to reduce multiple tax audits on tax payers.

Speaking on the topic: "The role of taxation in developing the Nigerian capital market," he said that tax audit should be harmonised instead of different agencies conducting audit.

"There should be harmonisation of audit under the umbrella of the Joint Task Force to conduct a single audit instead of different agencies doing different tax audits," Okunade said.

Okunade, explained that government had not made it easy for companies or every tax payer in the country to be pay in taxes.

According to him, Nigeria is lagging behind in the ease of paying taxes because of multiple taxation and other unfriendly tax laws.

He added that multiple tax audits and transaction costs discourage investment as well as payment of taxation.

Also speaking, the National Coordinator, ISAN, Adeniyi Adebisi, called on government to pursue and implement policies that would enhance national interests rather than selfish interests.

Adebisi said that the capital market was a barometer for the nation's economy, stressing the need for government to relax its hold on projects that require private sector involvement.

"The capital market does not work on its own it is reflecting the situation of the economy, when the capital market is not good then the economy is not good. The more government gets involved in detailed projects, the less development of such projects. If the capital market is developed, Nigeria will be open to the whole world.

Adebisi said that all hands must be on deck by all stakeholders both government, investors, regulators and companies, among others to put the market forward.

On his part, the Chairman of the conference, Dr. Oduware Uwadiae, said that the economy would grow with a well developed capital market.

"We cannot underestimate the impact of the capital market on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

"We have about 37 million registers MSMEs which currently has increased to 41 million. If one per cent of this number is nurtured and list on the exchange, it will make the market more vibrant.

"The capital market is a vibrant tool to grow the economy especially for those that want to go into production. It is also the hope of the real sector, especially for those that intends to access funds," Uwadiae said.

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