Zacchaeus Adedeji, special adviser to the president on revenue, says the federal government has no intention to impose new taxes on Nigerians. Adedeji spoke during a media briefing at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
He said rather than introduce new taxes, the government would ensure it improves collection of existing taxes. President Bola Tinubu signed four executive orders, including the suspension of the 5% excise tax on telecommunication services, as well as the excise duties escalation on locally manufactured products. Responding to a question on whether the president’s action would affect the petroleum tax and if new taxes would be introduced, Adedeji said the intent of the president was to lighten tax burdens, harmonise and manage already existing taxes in the best interest of Nigerians.
“As you rightly said that there’s a plan or possibly proposal for petroleum tax, if you look at the current price templates, that has already been included, so this suspension has nothing to do with that. So the pricing structure that you have for PMS today, all those have been included, there’s no new taxes that we’re bringing in,” the special adviser said. “Like my colleague has said, one of the key focus of this administration is to harmonise our taxes, the way we collect it.
“Mr. President actually wants to simplify and make it friendly to business, the way we operate taxes in Nigeria. As we know, when we talk about the revenue management, it’s not only in tax collection, the starting point is our economic policy because our aim is not to tax poverty.
“Our aim is not to tax production. Our aim is to increase our productive activities, capacity to produce, then we can tax our consumption and that is the direction of our economic planning and then we want to increase the trust that we have in the government. “If you have observed what has happened in the last months that we’ve been here, we’ve kept our words, part of what we are doing today, just to increase this trust that we’re here to do what’s best for the country. “Lastly, we have a robust plan to improve our collection management and compliance management because that is what is needed.