The signing of the executive orders is to ease business operations, fast-track budget submission and promote made in Nigeria products. The order will correct the issue of made in Nigeria goods as to help Nigerians eat and use what they produce The executive orders signed by Acting President Yemi Osibanjo have not only given Nigerians hope in ease of doing business but can boost the moribund economy quickly.
With the order, liquidating businesses now have chance for coming back alive and rate of unemployment is expected to reduce drastically given that manufacturing and service sectors would explore the policy to expand their businesses.
Nigeria has been branded as one of the worst countries to do business in the world as it moved by one step last year to 170th position with 43.56 per cent points in 2015 to 169 with 44.69 per cent points, as a result of poor skill or ability to secure minority investors, stress in doing business across the border, poor electricity, and heavy tax burden imposed on them by government.
Tax payment is very necessary as it helps in running government business, but when it is too much for the payers, it would kill their businesses and other medium and small business coming up may not make it. The Order would address some impediments surrounding taxation and even encourage new businesses to emerge and as a result, ease business registration.
According to Acting President, people feel indifferent about corruption in the public service because they see it as government money since they do not pay taxes. “When people pay taxes, they pay more attention to what government is doing. There’s a greater level of political and social consciousness.
Taxes are not only about boosting government revenues. When people pay taxes, they hold the government to account more. Osinbajo disclosed that figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicate that, Nigeria has a taxable class of no fewer than 69 million people, regretting that only 14 million are currently in the tax net.
He noted that only 214 of taxpayers, irrespective of status, pay N20 million or more annually, while about 900 taxpayers pay N10 million per annum. Providing more demographics, the 214 taxpayers are based in Lagos, adding that of the 900 also paying N10 million, all but two are based outside Lagos.
“All of these 214 Nigerians who pay N20 million or more in taxes annually are to be found in Lagos State. I’m sure that there are another 214 people who earn more than N80 million annually,” he said.
The comment of Osibanjo which drew applause from the audience who felt he was referring to the cross section of governors, ministers and other top government officials, adding that “tax evasion is not limited only to wealthy Nigerians and also not limited to individuals. Many companies maintain three sets of books”. The new policy shows that tax payment is not only for the poor or middle class but for every individual who is worth tax payment.
There is no doubt that the development will increase patronage for locally manufactured goods, apart from removing all bureaucratic bottlenecks that stifled growth of businesses in Nigeria. The three executive orders touched on specific instructions on a number of policy issues. The issues include “the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country; timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the Federal Government; and support for local contents in public procurement by the Federal Government.