- A lawmaker has raised the issue of tax payment by small and medium scale business owners across Nigeria
- The lawmaker said owners of SMEs should be made to pay tax in order to improve the government's efforts in internal revenue generation
- Fakeye Olufemi said these SMEs including carpenters, farmers and taxi drivers make a lot of money and as such have no reason not to contribute to government coffers
A member of the House of Representatives, Fakeye Olufemi, has reeled out reasons why carpenters and taxi drivers across Nigeria should be made to pay tax.
Olufemi, is the lawmaker representing Boluwaduro/Ifedayo/Ila federal constituency of Osun state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking on the floor of the House on Wednesday, October 13, Olufemi said owners of small and medium enterprises of which carpenters and taxi drivers fall under should pay tax.
He said the tax collected from the SMEs would aid the federal government's efforts in building its revenue generation plan.
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Contributing to the debate on the 2022 appropriation bill which was presented to the National Assembly by the president, Olufemi said growing up (in the past), he remembers everyone was mandated to pay tax.
Olufemi added that the payment of tax in the past applied to all SMEs including farmers, carpenters which is not the case now.
He called for tax reform that should allow for inclusivity where every Nigerian is given the opportunity to contribute to the revenue-generating system.
“I think our tax reform should be such that every Nigerian has a chance to contribute. Go out there and talk to 80 per cent or 90 per cent of the people of Nigeria, a lot of them that are self-employed; they don’t pay tax anymore."
Olufemi said he wonders why the revenue-generating agencies led by the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) are always shying away from imposing a tax on Nigerians who earn a living through one means or the other.
“So when we hear FIRS or tax organisations, even the tax joint board widening the tax net; why do they shy away from finding a way to make people pay — whether you are a carpenter, you are a taxi driver, you are selling rice in the market — these people make a lot of money but they don’t get to pay nothing. So I think that is an area I would like to see revenue-boosting.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the collection of tax in Nigeria has continued to cause controversies among various quarters including governor and relevant government agencies at the national level.
Recently, a tug of war between governors of some states led by Nyesom Wike and the FIRS had resulted in many legal battles with no absolute solution in sight.
Some of the governors involved in slugging it out with the FIRS on who should tax from citizens include; Oluwarotimí Akeredólu (SAN) of Ondo state; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state; Nyesom Wike of Rivers state; Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom state; Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state; Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state; Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun state; Douye Diri of Bayelsa state and Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state.
However, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had said that the collection of tax in Nigerian remains the responsibility of the FIRS.
Malami said the FIRS will continue to collect Value Added Tax despite a recent court row with state governors.
According to the AGF, the position of not only the federal government but indeed the judiciary is the fact that the status quo should be maintained with the collecting of VAT.