By Christiana Ekpa
The Association of Concerned Citizens of Nigeria on Revenue and Economy (ACCNRE) has called on the House of Representatives to expedite action on the passage of the National Inspector-General for tax crimes Commission bill, 2019 to instil efficiency in the tax system.
The bill, sponsored by spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu (APC, Abia) titled “the National Inspector General for Tax Crimes Commission to promote economic efficiency and effectiveness on administering the nation’s tax system, detect and deter farud and abuse in taxation programme and operations and to protect tax payer’s rights and for related matters, 2019”
Chairman of the ACCNRE, Chief Orji Philip Orji who made the call in Abuja at the weekend lamented that since former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida created the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) the civilian administrations have not made conscious efforts to build on its successes.
He said “Since the inception of democracy in 1999, our legislatures have not taken our taxation seriously. If a military man like, General Ibrahim Babangida as the military president can modify our taxation system, then, to suit the global trend, creating FIRS and VAT all in 1992, what stops our legislatures to look at what other countries of the world are doing to sustain their economy through taxation, by upgrading what IBB put in place?
“The FIRS and VAT is a modern methodology of taxation, but if you plants a tree and you did not water it the tree will surely die. The world is about innovation that will mitigate the global modern technology”
He advised that “Our leaders should not play politics in the taxation business hence the National Assembly must work as a team to build a well structured taxation system that will mitigate the global best practice of taxation”.
Orji also urged the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba to join the crusade for the passage of the bill stressing that workers stand to benefit more with a restructured taxation system.
The essence of this bill iaccording to the ACCNRE coordinator,the “essence of the bill is for the National Assembly to create Government Accountability Office (GAO) that will be saddled with the responsibility of general oversight of our tax agencies, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and National Inspector General for Tax Crime Commission (NIGTCC) if enacted.