Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector is reeling from a severe shortage of foreign exchange, resulting in a concerning inability to maintain a consistent drug supply.
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Tax Expert Urges Government to Boost Investment-Friendly Tax Environment
Calls for Fairness, Transparency, and Seamless Tax Process to Attract Investors
Dr. Titilayo Fowokan, a former Lagos State Coordinator of the Society of Women in Taxation (SWIT), has called for a significant improvement in the tax environment.
Her recommendations encompass fairness, transparency, and a seamless tax collection process to stimulate economic growth.
Speaking recently in Lagos, Dr. Fowokan commended the present administration’s efforts in implementing tax reforms, particularly highlighting the Finance Act of 2023 and the work of the Taiwo Oyedele-led tax reform committee.
She emphasized the alignment of these initiatives with current economic realities, especially in enhancing the ease of doing business.
However, Dr. Fowokan voiced concerns about the impact of excessive exchange rate volatility and fuel subsidy removal on these reforms.
She noted that these factors have driven up the cost of doing business in the country, putting pressure on investors.
“Overall, businesses and companies are adjusting to the drive for compliance by the current tax system and reviewing their tax strategy, value and supply chain management, tax controls, risk management, and tax planning initiatives for sustainability,” Dr. Fowokan stated.
In addition to her recommendations for governments, Dr. Fowokan urged tax administrators to improve interactions between taxpayers and new digital tax payment platforms.
She acknowledged the benefits of transitioning to an automated tax system, particularly in terms of enhanced tax compliance, and called for further innovation in this area.
“In relation to administrative ease of the current tax system, the FIRS should not limit the Tax Promax platform to punishing non-compliance but also grant access to benefits for compliance. This is from the angle of penalty regimes on the platform versus the claim of Withholding tax credits through the platform. An improvement in this will be a significant boost to the ease of doing business in Nigeria,” Dr. Fowokan emphasized.
The recommendations put forth by Dr. Titilayo Fowokan underscore the importance of fostering an investment-friendly tax environment that prioritizes fairness, transparency, and efficiency. As governments contemplate their fiscal policies, her insights serve as a timely reminder of the crucial role tax reform plays in economic development and attracting investment.
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