FG urges govs to justify use of subsidy removal savings

Bisola David
Bisola David
FG urges govs to justify use of subsidy removal savings

The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Taiwo Oyedele, disclosed the government’s intention to provide a comprehensive implementation of the funds distributed to state governments following the removal of fuel subsidies on Friday.

The Punch reported that according to him, the plan realized through a memorandum of understanding would specify how many projects and interventions the governors would carry out using the money earned from Nigerians’ sacrifices.

He disclosed these during his appearance as a guest on AIT’s Moneyline business program, which a correspondent watched on Friday.

He claimed that the strategy is to cease funding “audio projects” that are not available to the general public or that do not support the stated objectives.

According to a previous story published on The Punch, the government has so far been able to save almost N1.45 trillion from the money it made when the Premium Motor Spirit, or petrol, since subsidy was removed between June and September.

An investigation revealed that the government collected N696.93 billion in June, N389.7 billion in July, N71 billion in August, and N289 billion in September as monthly contributions to the Non-Oil Revenue (Savings) account.

“For the subsidy, we need to improve transparency on the savings made by the government from the sacrifices of Nigerians,” stated Oyedele during the interview. The money must be returned to the people in a way that improves, enriches, and eases their lives.

The former PricewaterhouseCoopers Africa Tax Leader added that in order to achieve the president’s targets for tax revenue growth and the abolition of multiple taxation, important measures involving presidential and ministerial decrees are required.

“Some even call for amending several laws; one suggestion is that Nigerian citizens and businesses shouldn’t have to pay taxes and levies in foreign currencies as it exacerbates our foreign exchange crisis. Demands like those might exert pressure on the naira when individuals have to search for dollars in Nigeria to pay the Nigerian government, which includes the Federal Inland Revenue Services, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Port Authority.”

In order to lessen the burden on Nigerian business owners, he continued, the government is dedicated to addressing issues that face private sector enterprises by instituting a “Personal Relief Allowance” for private employees and corporations.

“The federal government only provided N35k wage award for public servants, so there are plans to increase the exemption thresholds, which we call “Personal Relief Allowance,” for Nigerian workers. However, we reasoned that since all Nigerians are making these sacrifices due to the removal of fuel subsidies and the harmonization of foreign exchange, why shouldn’t the private sector benefit as well?

“Therefore, should any business attempt to offer wage awards, transit allowances, or even hire more individuals, we are advocating extra relief for private sector employees or employers”, he said.”

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