By Emmanuel Afonne
Abuja – Mrs Olajumoke Simplice, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria (CITN), has said that Nigeria will not progress without effective taxation system in place.
Simplice made this known at a Seminar on ‘’Current issues in Nigeria Taxation: VAT Act, Stamp duty, TIN and PTF’’, in Abuja on Tuesday.
“The Value added tax at five per cent cannot work; when it was promulgated in 1993, it was said that it will be reviewed over time; 25 years past, nothing has been done.
“In 2007, 2009 and 2019, attempts were made and there was a lot of noise around it. I think Nigerians just need to understand that we cannot progress without taxation.
“The days of oil revenue are completely over, we should be working on the issues of taxation,” she said.
She said that the 7.5 per cent VAT in the 2020 budget as part of revenue generation was laudable with the exemption of basic items from being taxed.
According to her, the items are the ones that affect the common man in the health sector, agriculture and others.
She added that micro and small enterprises with less than N25 million turnover was also exempted.
Simplice said that government must work out details on how to implement the VAT adding that the decision was a step in the right direction.
She further explained that Nigerians should equally understand that VAT remained a consumption tax that one can only pay when they consume goods applicable.
“If you sit down in your house and eat, you will not pay VAT, if you give your wife money to go to the market, you will not pay VAT but if you carry your wife to Sheraton to eat and sleep, you will pay.
“That is what we are saying, those things that are liable to VAT do not affect the masses and they need to understand that.
Nigerians need to understand that VAT is a consumption tax, If you do not consume Hennessy, Champaign and others, you will not pay,’’ she said.
Commenting on the seminar, she said that the major focus was to get people talk on various issues as it concerned VAT, Stamp duty Act among others.
She added that the seminar was part of the institute’s advocacy programme to support government policies and programmes.
“We organise this periodically to tackle issues and elicit people’s comment and possibly advise government on issues and policies,” she added.
Also, the Executive Secretary Joint Tax Board, Prof. Abiola Sani, said that effort must be made to educate Nigerians on the VAT.
He said that the proposed VAT of 7.5 per cent was not targeted at the ordinary Nigerians adding that government’s efforts to increase local revenue through VAT should be commended.
“We need to get people pay tax; the consumables that will affect the ordinary Nigerians have been removed from VAT.
“Stakeholders need to keep educating Nigerians to understand all issues concerning taxation in the country for economic growth and development,” he added.