The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently convened a Regional Workshop in the historic city of Ibadan, Oyo State, to address the critical issue of multiple taxation and regulations imposed on telecom companies by various states and their agencies.
The workshop, which was attended by senior government officials from all states in the South West Geo-political Zone, sought to foster a deeper understanding of the adverse impact of these policies on the country’s economic development.
Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management at NCC, delivered a keynote speech during the event, highlighting the importance of rectifying the challenges posed by multiple taxation and regulations.
In his address, Mr. Adewolu began by underlining Nigeria’s status as both Africa’s most populous nation and the largest economy on the continent. He emphasized the potential for robust economic growth in Nigeria to have a positive ripple effect on the entire West African region.
However, he noted that the presence of multiple taxation, often referred to as ‘nuisance taxes’ by the World Bank, has hindered economic development in the country. To address this issue effectively, Mr. Adewolu stressed the importance of viewing taxation as a tool for economic development and understanding how it can inadvertently hinder growth.
“Taxation is the backbone for public finance,” Mr. Adewolu explained. “It provides guaranteed and sustainable sources of funding for social programs and public investments, and it also serves as a tool curated by the government to effectively and efficiently distribute our commonwealth.”
Mr. Adewolu further outlined the negative consequences of multiple taxation, which include stifling innovation, discouraging investment, and shrinking the tax base. He cited the National Tax Policy 2017, which emphasizes the need to eradicate multiple taxation at all levels of government, and the recent Executive Orders signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address arbitrary taxes in the country.
Multiple taxation, as defined by the National Tax Policy 2017, is the imposition of the same or similar taxes on the same income base, transaction, or person by one or more levels of government, in one or more jurisdictions. This practice not only fails to increase government revenue but also harms otherwise profitable businesses.
The economic burden of multiple taxation is compounded by the administrative complexities of complying with these taxes, making Nigeria less attractive for businesses and competitive practices. This situation weakens the nation’s economic foundations, devalues its currency (the Naira), and contracts its gross domestic product.
The workshop participants also explored the fundamental principles of taxation, including neutrality, efficiency, certainty and simplicity, effectiveness and fairness, and flexibility. Mr. Adewolu expressed optimism that the workshop would help clarify misconceptions about taxation and lead to a renewed commitment to eradicating multiple taxes, thereby creating a more business-friendly environment for economic growth.
Furthermore, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management, extended his gratitude to the attendees and expressed hope for productive deliberations that would contribute to steering Nigeria’s national economy in a positive direction.
As the Regional Stakeholders Workshop concluded, stakeholders and government representatives departed with a clearer vision of the challenges posed by multiple taxation and a renewed determination to find practical solutions that would drive economic growth and development in Nigeria.
Support Investigative Journalism and Mentorship
Courageous Journalism of Truth,Transparency and Development is in the DNA of Prime Business Africa; By donating as little as N1000 or $1 today, you are helping to keep credible journalism and life-changing information free for all.