FG accuses states of collecting illegal taxes, levies

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 16th, 2014
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The federal government has accused some state governments of collecting taxes and levies that are not backed by appropriate laws.

This was contained in a report by the Ministerial Implementation Committee on Harmonisation of Taxes submitted to the National Economic Council (NEC) in its meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Thursday.

Accordingly, NEC chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo directed the acting inspector-general of police (IGP), Suleiman Abba to immediately remove the illegal roadblocks mounted on highways and used for revenue collection around the country.

Members of the council include all the governors of the 36 states of the federation, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory; minister of national planning; attorney-general of the federation; minister of state, finance and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.

Briefing State House correspondents, Governors of Anambra, Gombe and Kogi – Willie Obiano, Ibrahim Dankwabo and Idris Wada – as well as the minister of national planning, Dr Abubakar Olanrewaju, disclosed that NEC deliberated on the report of the committee which was set up following complaints from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria on multiple taxation across the country.

Obiano said that besides illegal taxes and levies, the committee further discovered that while the 1998 Taxes and Levies Act which had been long overdue was in dire need of being reviewed, there was duplication of some taxes and levies at the state and local government levels.

“Some of the committee’s recommendations include the discontinuation of the practice of using non-revenue officials for collection of taxes and levies by states and federal agencies, which is contrary to Section 2 of the Taxes and Levies Act.

“The committee recommended that all states revenue boards be empowered to automate their tax operations for effectiveness, accountability and reduce leakages. The committee asks NEC to direct the IG of Police to dismantle all road blocks mounted on highways for revenue collection”, he stated.

The governor added that it was agreed by NEC that the committee should work with attorney-generals of six states, each representing the six geopolitical zones to incorporate inputs and comments made by its members and report back to it at the next meeting.

The states include Bayelsa (South South), Plateau (North Central), Enugu (South East), Lagos (South West), Kebbi (North West) and Borno (North East).

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