The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared open the 149th meeting of the Joint Tax Board, JTB in Victoria Island area of the State with a call on members to expand their focus beyond Personal Income Tax to other tax types.
The Joint Tax Board is the apex body for all tax authorities in Nigeria.
Represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Rabiu Olowo, Governor Sanwo-Olu said members of the JTB should look towards harmonizing the interpretations of the various tax laws to achieve true federalism.
“Notwithstanding the provisions of various legislations creating administrative procedures for various revenue items, we still have quite a bit of work to do in respect of harmonization, implementation and administration. For example, today, there are many interpretative methods and administrative procedures employed by the various revenue authorities, leading to several interpretations by the various Courts and Tribunals in the Country. Therefore, improved levels of coordination and harmonization is urgently required, to achieve alignment with the principle of true federalism, and no institution in my view, is better placed than the Joint Tax Board to accomplish this. Among other things, I implore the JTB, in this regard, to expand its focus beyond Personal Income Tax, to other tax types. While I acknowledge that some of the extant legal or constitutional provisions are not within the purview of the JTB to review or amend, let me say that it is very crucial that your unwavering voice is heard in championing the process for change”.
“You are one of the most important stakeholders on this journey towards a truly fair, equitable and efficient national revenue collection system. As part of this retreat, therefore, I urge you to deliberate and come up with practical solutions on critical revenue issues and fiscal federalism, especially as they relate to Stamp Duties, the regulation of lotteries, Federal/State tax jurisdiction, and the matter of Value Added Tax, which I am aware is currently sub judice” the Governor urged.
He also spoke on the need for the yearly enactment of the Finance Act and to align it with current economic realities.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the JTB, Mr Muhammed Nami Mamman who was represented by the Coordinating Director of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Mohammed Abubakar said the theme of the meeting, “Leveraging Technology for Effective Administration of Stamp Duties and Road Taxes in Nigeria” was carefully chosen to explore innovative ways of administering the two critical tax types in the Country.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, Mr Ayodele Subair, harped on the need for the board to continue to carry out its duties effectively for the overall development of the country as taxation remains the main source of revenue for government.
He said. “A lot more financial resources are required to enable us as a country to enable us procure and maintain the long overdue uninterrupted power and water supply, better and quality education, improved security of life and property, better roads and drainage networks and other basic amenities the citizens year for from the government”
The JTB will embark on a tour of tax funded projects in Lagos including the Lagos Rail Mass Transit, Red and Blue line and the Massey Children Hospital.as part of the meeting