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Nigeria’s tax structure squeezing investors,’ silent on consumers—LCCI decries

The leadership of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has again, called for a total restructuring of the nation’s tax system to give breathing space for manufacturers and production entities.
In an agenda setting document for the Federal Government as it begins another tenure, the Director General of LCCI, Mr MudaYusuf, made it clear that “The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has scant regard for due process in its drive for revenue. It is, therefore, inherently a disincentive to investment and economic diversification.
“The three tiers of government target investors more than consumers. This is not in consonance with best practice principles in taxation.”
LCCI argued that “In an economy which is almost 50 per cent informal, the taxation structure is not investment-friendly, the chamber maintained, recommending that the tax structure should be reversed to aid economic diversification.
LCCI called for end to the use of commercial banks as collection agents for the FIRS, saying “it was very disruptive, distracting, arbitrary, oppressive and unfair to investors and serious disincentive to investment and the promotion of financial inclusion”.
“This approach should be discontinued. Taxation should not be seen only as an instrument of revenue generation; it is also a potent instrument for stimulation of investment,” he said.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria to moderate its monetary tightening stance adding that this would moderate interest rate and also drive domestic investment.
“It is difficult to drive domestic investment at current levels of interest rate which is well over 25 per cent for most economic players. The economy needs investment, especially domestic direct investment to drive diversification.”