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States indicted for collecting illegal taxes

15 August 2014, 11:42

Abuja - The National Economic Council on Thursday indicted some state governments for allegedly collecting taxes and levies that were not backed by appropriate laws.

The council therefore directed the acting Inspector-General of Police,  Suleiman Abba, to dismantle all roadblocks mounted on highways across the country for the purpose of revenue collection.

These were the highlights of the report of the Ministerial Implementation Committee on Harmonisation of Taxes presented to the council at its meeting, presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.

The council, chaired by Sambo, has all the 36 state governors, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Minister of National Planning, Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister of State for Finance and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria as members.

Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano and his counterparts in Gombe and Kogi, Ibrahim Dankwabo and Idris Wada as well as the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Olanrewaju, briefed journalists on the outcome of the meeting.

Obiano said the committee whose report was discussed at the meeting was set up following complaints from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria on multiple taxation across the country.

He said apart from illegal taxes and levies, the committee also found that the 1998 Taxes and Levies Act was overdue for review and that there was duplication of some taxes and levies at the state and local government levels.

He said, “Some of the committee’s recommendations include the discontinuation of the practice of using non-revenue officials for collection of taxes and levies by states and federal agencies, which is contrary to Section 2 of the Taxes and Levies Act.

“The committee recommended that all states revenue boards be empowered to automate their tax operations for effectiveness, accountability and reduce leakages.

“The committee asks NEC to direct the IG of Police to dismantle all roadblocks mounted on highways for revenue collection.”

Obiano said the council resolved that the committee should work with Attorney-Generals of six states representing the six geopolitical zones to incorporate the inputs and comments of council members and report in the next meeting.

The states, according to him, are Enugu (South East), Lagos (South West), Bayelsa (South South), Plateau (North Central), Kebbi (North West), and Borno (North East).

-  NAN

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