Speaker of the House Representatives Abbas Tajudeen says the house has resolved to end economic sabotage and ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the country’s tax system.
Abbas said this at the inauguration of the Ad hoc committee investigating allegations of abuse of tax incentives, tax breaks and tax waivers by institutions and companies benefiting from tax incentives in Abuja on Thursday.
He said, “the purpose of this investigation is to end all forms of economic sabotage and ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness in our tax system.
He called on all relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, public institutions, and companies benefitting from tax incentives, to cooperate fully with the committee’s investigation.
This according to him is for the house to have a full understanding of the tax system with a view of taking appropriate legislative actions.
He said the mandate of the committee was to examine the extent of the alleged abuse by public institutions and organisations.
He added that the committee would review relevant legislation, policies, and regulations governing these incentives to identify any loopholes or weaknesses that could have contributed to the alleged abuse.
He said witnesses should be summoned and documents should be requested and conduct hearings as necessary.
Responding, Rep. Makki Yalleman, the Chairman of the committee said the investigation became a necessary sequel to tax abuses by institutions, organisations among others
According to him, taxes enable the government to raise the necessary funds for development.
“Where taxes are inadequate, where there are leakages or where infractions of the system lead to narrowing of tax inflow,” he said.
He added that the government often resorted to borrowings which had attendant consequences for national development.
He said abuse of tax incentives by the supposed beneficiaries and the statutory institutions meant to regulate the tax regime could push the government into fiscal constraint.
He said tax incentives were often granted to encourage businesses to stand well and be strong enough to contribute to the economy, adding that its abuse created distortions in fiscal and monetary policy management.
According to him, as Nigeria experiences dwindling oil revenue and public debt approaches prohibitive levels amidst allegations of abuse of tax incentives, there is the need to know the scope of tax incentives.
He said it was imperative to know the possible existence of abuses to enable proper administration of the tax breaks, waivers and incentives.