By Chijioke Okoronkwo
The Federal Government has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria InterBank Settlement System (NIBBS), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to cooperate with the Joint Tax Board (JTB) in the release of relevant individual records.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated this while inaugurating the New National Tax Identification Number (TIN) Registration System on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that new tax administration was built around data, adding that without credible and comprehensive data, an efficient tax system would be impossible.
NAN also reports that TIN was a vital instrument to uniquely identify, as well as register new taxpayers and bring them into the tax bracket.
The vice president said that TIN gave the managers of the national tax administration systems the capacity to conveniently and efficiently access and connect information from multiple sources.
He added that this formed the basis for projecting future revenues and for making realistic expenditure plans, for governments.
Osinbajo said that the ultimate outcome of TIN was increased revenues for government at all tiers, to fund investments in infrastructure, social investment, human capital development, and more.
According to him, the new initiative aligns fully with the Federal Government’s strategic objectives as outlined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“”We seek to achieve is really to attract business and more importantly, local business; and it is local business investment that develops the economy the most.
“If it is easy for the local person to do business, it becomes more attractive to the international business to come in to the country.
““All of these reforms attract the levels of investment and inflows the Nigerian economy requires for sustainable economic growth.
“”In the light of the foregoing, all agencies critical to the optimal success of this initiative, the CBN and NIBBS, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), are hereby directed by the President to provide the fullest co-operation to the JTB especially in the release of the relevant individual records.
“The JTB, led by its chairman, Mr Babatunde Fowler, all the partners and stakeholders who have made this possible, deserve our commendation for this giant leap.
“The Nigerian business and economic environment is the better for your hard work and continuous innovation,” Osinbajo said.
On his part, Fowler, who is also the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said that tax-revenue administration in the 21st century had evolved into a systematic and deliberate process underpinned by availability of reliable data.
He said the new TIN registration system would be reinforcing the laudable efforts of the administration towards building a robust tax-revenue administration system.
Fowler added the new system would also promote a tax friendly environment and ensure a sustainable and inclusive economy for all Nigerians.
He said that during the first tenure of the administration, there was an expansion of the tax base from N10 million to 20 million taxpayers with a potential for an increase of up to 45 million before the end of the third quarter of 2019.
The executive chairman said there was a growth in the IGR of states by over 46.11 per cent from N800.02 billion in 2016 to N1.16 trillion in 2018.
“For the first time in the history of Nigeria, the Federal Government paid all outstanding PAYE tax liabilities owed by the Federal MDAs from 2002.to 2016 totalling about N135 billing to various state governments.
“We hope that this gesture will encourage state governments to also promptly remit all withholding taxes and VAT due to the federation account.
“In the Tax Administration Section of the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Nigeria moved up positively by 25 points during the period and it is expected that the country would further move up the ranking by the time of review for 2019 is published,” Fowler said.
Chairmen of Boards of Internal Revenue from the 36 states of the federation attended the event.
The highlight of the event was issuance of tax certificate to the Vice President. (NAN).