The Senate has rejected the N6 trillion earmarks for import tax wavers in 2023 budget proposal saying that it should be cut by at least 50 percent considering the N12.41 trillion budget deficit in the same year.
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Olamilekan, expressed the disatisfaction at the opening of a five -day interactive session with heads of revenue generating agencies on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Papers on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Olamilekan, we cannot accommodate N6 trillion tax waivers in 2023, it should be reduced to N3 trillion, in the light of current economic challenges that the government is facing
He also stressed that some of the tax waivers that are backed by law will be reviewed and additional extension for tax waivers must be stopped ”
” Billions and trillions of Naira can be generated by government as revenue if such windows are closed against beneficiaries abusing them and invariably provide required money for budget funding with less deficit cum borrowings .
He also directed the office of the Trade and Investment Promotion Council to provide a comprehensive list of companies currently enjoying tax waver from the government and forward it to the senate committee on finance for necessary action.
In her contribution to the issue of tax waiver, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed Zainab expressed support to the move to cut down the number of companies enjoying waiver saying that it will go a long way to reduce budget deficit.
She however observed that some wavers are backed by law, meaning that the relevant aspects of the law must be ammended before anything can be done to them.
She also lamented that some tax wavers provided are meeting the intended targets.
Speaking earlier on the tax waivers , the Controller General of Customs, Hammed Ali, who also backed the senate said that in the move to stop the issuance of tax waivers lamenting that Billions of Naira are given as tax waivers.
On Telecommunications Tax, Custom Comptroller General said “it is only in Nigeria that citizens does not pay telecommunications in the world.” while calling for the implementation of Telecommunications Tax in the 2023 .
In another development, the Senator Olamilekan kicked against the projected N12.41 Trillion in the 2023 budget as proposed by the executive arm of government to finance the 2023 budget.
Senator Olamilekan also said that the alarming projection of “no provision for treasury-funded MDAs’ capital projectsin 2023″. He added that the scenario is unacceptable and we must find ways to drastically reduce the deficit humongous figure.
According to him ” it is apparent that the borrowing trends cannot be allowed to continue unchecked and conscious efforts must be made to reduce budget deficits. Achieving these goals requires us to look inward towards increased revenue generation, blocking of leakages and restraints on what are generally frivolous expenditures by MDAs, particularly the Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs)” Olamilekan said.
In a similar development, the committee proposed the removal of tax credit granted to some companies who executed projects on behalf of the federal government saying that some of the tax credits have abused.
The interface continues Wednesday with expected appearances of the Governor of Central Bank , Godwin Emefiele and Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited ( NNPCL) Mele Kyari before the Committee .
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