CITN advocates autonomy for state internal revenue

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CITN President, Barr Samuel Agbeluyi

By Olusegun Obisanya

The President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, Barr Samuel Agbeluyi has enjoined states in the federation to make their internal revenue collection autonomous if they desire to increase their internally generated revenue and have funds available for capital and social programs.
He made this known at the Pre-Conference Presidential Chat heralding the annual tax conference of the Institute in Lagos, recently.
Themed, “Sustainable tax culture and economic roadmap for nation building,” the tax conference is scheduled to hold in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja between Monday, May 13 and Friday, May 17, 2024.
Agbeluyi posited: “We will keep on advising subnational. If you want to generate money, let your state internal revenue be autonomous, give them the discretion to make money and give them target. They will do it because we have competent members of Institute across the country who can run this.
“And go and take the statistics of those States that have autonomous agencies, they are doing very well. Go and check people who manage the State, they are members of this institute. We have the competence, capacity to do it and we will continue advice them.”
He disclosed that ahead of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms full-year report, certain governors are already streamlining the different taxes they collect within their states, signalling the end of multiple tax systems.
“I am proud to say that we have tax professionals in the presidential committee and I am a member. The mandate given to us by President Tinubu is that there should be three months, six months and one year deliverables. You will agree with me that economic activities will not make quick response to stimulants, it takes some time – certain activities must interrogate before you feel the impact.
“The reality of the fact that we can sustain multiplicity of taxes in various ways is coming to full realisation of the State Governors. Even ahead of that report, some governors are already streamlining various type of taxes they collect in their states.”
CITN President maintained that given the enormous work the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform has embarked upon which will manifest in due time, sanity will soon return to multiple taxation which will result in economic resuscitation.
Agbeluyi added: “If you have followed event in this country that there are some States where you have about 62 different type of taxes. Now, if a government or committee is moving from 62 or 65 as the case may be to something under ten, then that is a revolution. I know that is coming, work has been done. The President himself has spoken about that, that is the direction he is looking at. And once we bring about this, then we are bringing about sanity in the tax space. Once there is sanity within the tax space, the economy will thrive because tax payment is an expenditure.