Tambuwal Seeks End to Politics of waivers
ABUJA, SEPTEMBER 26, (THEWILL) - Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu tambuwal, on Monday lamented the heavy consequences of indiscriminate granting of import waivers on the economy and called for a review of the country’s waiver and import policies.
Tambuwal, who made the call while addressing the management team of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), led by its Executive Chairman, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, expressed worried that waivers were “killing the economy” and causing the government colossal losses.
He regretted the importation of products such as toothpicks, noting that such petty importations had to stop for the country to stand a chance of amassing more resources for citizen development and job creation. He therefore challenged the Executive to review policies relating to waivers and imports, in order to control importation of certain classes of goods and generate more revenue. “We have played enough politics with tax and revenue matters, and it is time to stop it,” he emphasised.
Earlier in her remarks, Omoigui-Okauru, who is also the chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), called for the support of the House of Representatives in amending relevant tax legislations required to address multiple taxations. She also implored the House to expedite the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which she believed would address various tax issues in the oil sector.
“There are a lot of unclear issues in the existing Acts, and the PIB is to provide clarity on the fiscal regime,” she said, also promising that FIRS would be forwarding several Bills, beginning from the Tax Administration Code, to the House for consideration.
Only last week, Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, while speaking at a seminar in Washington disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan had ceded his powers to grant waivers to businessmen and companies to the Economic Team, which she heads. “Henceforth, all those who usually go to see the President at night will no longer be allowed to do so. If they have any proposals, it must be presented to the Economic Team,” she said.