The National Economic Council, made up of the federal and 36 state governments and their commissioners of finance has admitted that government at all levels have been collecting taxes against the Nigerian law.
The government feels so guilty that it has now directed the Inspector General of Police to dismantle all road blocks’ mounted on highways for revenue collection.
Rising from a meeting presided over by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today, the Council agreed with the Ministerial Implementation Committee (MIC) on the harmonization of taxes that the 1998 taxes and levies Act is overdue for review.
The Council, whose resolutions were read to newsmen by governors Willie Obiano of Anambra state, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state and other top financial persons also agreed that there has been duplication of some taxes and levies at states and local government levels, noting that taxes and levies administered by some states are not backed by appropriation legislation.
The Council equally agreed with recommendations of the Ministerial Implementation Council for the discontinuation of the practice of using non-revenue officials for collection of taxes and levies by states and federal agencies “as this is contrary to Section 2 of the taxes and levies Act.”
The Council then directed that all states revenue boards should be empowered to automate their tax operations for effectiveness, process, and accountability thereby and reducing leakages.
“NEC directs the Inspector General of police to dismantle all ‘road blocks’ mounted on highways for revenue collection. NEC further resolved that the MIC committee should work with the following states Attorney Generals, representing the 6-geopolitical zones to incorporate the inputs and comments of the members of the council and report in the next meeting.
“The Zonal representatives are as follows: Enugu for South-East, Lagos for South-West Bayelsa for South-South, Plateau for North-Central, Kebbi for North-West and Borno for North-East.”
The MIC report was presented by the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service on behalf of the CME/HM finance. Th MIC was set up following report of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to NEC on multiple taxation across the Federation at various levels and it’s effect on the Nigerian Economy. [myad]