I am honoured to stand before this eminent gathering of distinguished senators today to give a goodwill address on this critical matter of fiscal policy and tax reforms in Nigeria. Your dedication to the welfare of our nation and its citizens is commendable, and I appreciate the opportunity to share the perspectives of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on this vital subject.
As the Ag. Chairman of the FIRS, I am acutely aware of the profound importance of a sound fiscal policy and well-thought-out tax reforms in our country. Nigeria, with its vast potential and abundant resources, is positioned to make significant strides in economic development. However, to harness this potential, we must address the challenges and opportunities presented by our fiscal policies and tax systems.
Distinguished Senators, Nigeria’s fiscal policy is the cornerstone of our economic stability. It dictates how the government collects, manages, and allocates resources for public welfare. A well-structured fiscal policy is essential to provide the necessary infrastructure, healthcare, education, and social services for our growing population. It is equally crucial in ensuring that our economic environment remains competitive for both domestic and foreign investors.
Tax reforms are integral to a robust fiscal policy. Our current tax system, though making significant contributions to our revenue, has room for improvement. We must focus on simplifying the tax laws, enhancing compliance, and broadening the tax base to ensure fairness and equity. This will stimulate economic growth and reduce the burden on individuals and businesses alike.
We appreciate President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for setting up the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee to review and recommend changes that will address our long-standing fiscal challenges.
We, at the FIRS, are fully committed to supporting these reforms. We have taken substantial measures to improve tax collection efficiency, reduce tax evasion, and foster a business-friendly environment. But we need to do more. The support that we receive from the National Assembly has been invaluable, and I am confident that with your continued support, we can achieve even more remarkable results.
In addition to reforms, we must also explore avenues for diversifying our revenue sources. Over-reliance on oil revenues has exposed our economy to volatility, as witnessed in recent years. Diversification of revenue sources will not only bolster our fiscal resilience but also enable the government to better serve the people and address our most pressing needs, especially lifting our people out of poverty.
As we deliberate on fiscal policy and tax reforms, we must bear in mind the need for social inclusion and poverty reduction. Our incentives must be targeted and rationalised to limit abuse and avoidable leakages while promoting investment and job creation.
In conclusion, the challenges we face in our fiscal policy and tax system are opportunities for a brighter, more prosperous Nigeria. It is my hope that through collaboration, diligent efforts, and innovative thinking, we can forge a path to a more equitable, efficient, and prosperous future.
I am grateful for your attention and eagerly looking forward to possible areas where the FIRS and the Joint Tax Board can play a role towards shaping the fiscal policies and tax reforms that will lead our country to a new era of prosperity.
Thank you for your kind attention.