The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that the imposition of multiple taxes could impede the country’s economic progress.
This declaration was made during a regional stakeholders workshop on the subject of multiple taxation and regulations in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
The event was attended by notable individuals, including Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the commission; Mr. Gbolahan Awonuga, the Executive Secretary of the Association of Licensed Telephone Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); Mr. Temidayo Ashonibare, a law lecturer; as well as representatives from state governments, experts, and telecommunication companies.
While speaking on the theme: “Multiple Taxation: An Impediment to Economic Development,” Adewolu explained that multiple taxation has continued to prove to be a bane to economic development in the country.
He further explained that the primary objective of the workshop was to tackle the issues linked with multiple taxation and seek viable solutions for them.
The executive commissioner emphasized that it’s important to highlight that the National Tax Policy of 2017 underscores the necessity of eliminating multiple taxes across all levels of government.
Additionally, he stressed that this policy explicitly states that taxes resembling those already collected by one level of government should not be introduced by the same or another level of government.
Expanding on this, he mentioned that the dilemma posed by multiple taxation has detrimental effects, including hindering the ease of conducting business, reducing the tax base, encouraging tax evasion, and complicating tax compliance.
He said: “Despite the prospect of accelerated economic growth, the presence of multiple taxation, which the World Bank has termed ‘nuisance taxes’ has and continues to prove to be a bane on economic development in the country.”
“However, before addressing how multiple taxation is an impediment to economic development, it is important to emphasise that taxation, in and of itself, is a veritable tool for economic development.”
“The curious question, which this workshop will attempt to answer, is how a fiscal tool for economic development, like taxation, can become inimical to economic development.”
“It is imperative, therefore, to correct some misconceptions about taxation, particularly the misguided notion of taxation as a penal tool against thriving business enterprises.”
“It is thus evident that taxation is critical for making growth sustainable and equitable. Thus, taxation by design is an instrument for economic development, and it is important to acknowledge and support the initiative of all tiers of Government in using taxation as an instrument for socio-economic development.”
“It is pertinent to note that the National Tax Policy 2017 emphasises the need to eradicate multiple taxation at all tiers of government.”
“Specifically, the policy states that taxes similar to those being collected by a level of Government should not be introduced by the same or another level of Government.”
“The federal, state, and local governments shall ensure collaboration in harmonising and eliminating multiple taxation.”
“The paradox of multiple taxation is that it does not lead to an increment in government revenue, rather, the crippling effect of these taxes is that it makes otherwise profitable businesses unprofitable.”
“It negatively impacts the ease of doing business, shrinks the tax base, incentivizes tax evasion, and complicates tax compliance.”
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