Nigeria’s Tax Law obsolete, overdue for review —Oruaze Dickson
A legal practitioner cum entrepreneur, Moses Oruaze Dickson, has called for the review of the legislative framework for tax and taxation in the country, describing the existing law as obsolete for a progressive society like Nigeria.
According to Dickson, who is also Managing Solicitor, Triax Solicitors, the law is long overdue for review, saying that the country had the last exercise conducted in 1976.
He made this call while speaking to media correspondents at the Annual 20th Tax Conference with the theme: ‘Institutionalizing a Tax Paying Culture,’ which took place at the Nigerian Airforce Conference Center, Abuja.
He contended that even though Nigeria is not a tax haven, it was easy to do business in the country without paying tax as required whereas businesses operating in the country were willing to pay taxes to protect their reputation.
Dickson lamented that the loopholes in the tax laws, saying they had created opportunities for these companies to evade taxes without being penalized.
He emphasized that if solid legislations were put in place and enforced, such approach would impact on the taxpaying culture of Nigerians and companies operating within its territory.
“Businesses operating in Nigeria are willing to pay taxes to protect their reputation, the loopholes in the tax laws, create opportunities for these companies to evade taxes without being penalized,” he lamented.
“If solid legislations are put in place and enforced, these will impact on the taxpaying culture of Nigerians and companies operating within its territory,” Dickson said.
He, however, commended the recent efforts by the government to encourage every citizen to pay taxes through the introduction of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), saying it only when citizens paid the tax that they would cultivate the interest to participate in the governance process and hold the leadership to account.
“It is only when citizens pay the tax that they would cultivate the interest to participate in the governance process and hold the leadership to account,” he said.
Speakers at this year’s conference include the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi’ Osibanjo; Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler; President and Chairman of the Council, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Chief (Dr.) Cyril Ikemefuna Nwobodo and the Chairman, Bayelsa State Revenue Board, Dr. Nimibofa Ayaowe, among others.