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Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy & Tax Reforms

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Speech by Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman, Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms – Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Your Excellency, Commander-in-Chief, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR; Your Excellency, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima; Other senior Government Officials here present; distinguished dignitaries, and invited guests, good afternoon.



Your Excellency, Commander-in-Chief, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR; Your Excellency, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima; Other senior Government Officials here present; distinguished dignitaries, and invited guests, good afternoon.

I am glad to witness this day, and I wish to express my gratitude to Mr. President for entrusting me along with other eminent Nigerians with the privilege of serving our nation in this capacity.

I also want to acknowledge the invaluable support from all quarters of our society – the organized private sector, professional bodies, the media, international community, and the public since I was announced as the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms.

The task before us is substantial yet pivotal. Our fiscal policies could benefit from better crafting grounded in data and evidence, ensuring coherence and consistency. We need enhanced alignment with the modern economy and better coordination with monetary and other policies.

Many of our existing laws are outdated hence they require comprehensive updates to achieve harmonisation and address multiplicity of taxes, remove the burden on the poor and vulnerable while addressing the concerns of all investors, big or small.

Our tax administration has improved but remains relatively basic, with instances of unregulated collections by untrained officers, particularly at the Local Government level, being widespread.

Our revenue generation falls below even African standards, yet our collection costs are among the highest. This is due not only to multiple taxes but also numerous collection agencies and fragmented revenue reporting procedures.

Public willingness to pay taxes is strained because of a lack of trust in government, both among individuals and businesses, irrespective of size. The burden of tax falls heavily on those who comply, while those who evade often get away with little or no consequences. We need to change this.

The process of resolving tax disputes is protracted and costly, with inadequate mechanisms for many small businesses and vulnerable individuals to seek fair tax resolution, as professional services are often beyond their means.

Although these challenges may seem daunting, they also represent a unique opportunity for us to create a positive impact. We have the chance to revamp our tax policies for a more equitable system, modernize our laws to be adaptable and forward-looking, revitalize our revenue administration, enhance transparency in revenue reporting, and exercise prudence in our spending.

Empirical data affirms that Nigerians are willing to fulfill their tax obligations when they see meaningful returns on their tax contributions. We must therefore be intentional in renewing the social contract and, more importantly, act in the best interest of our nation.

The pathway to shaping the future begins with the choices we make today. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this journey and humbled by the chance to serve. And I believe that I speak also for every member of the committee.

Collectively, Mr. President, we promise to do our best. With support from the people and God on our side, we know that we will succeed.

Thank you for listening to me. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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