The Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), has urged the Delta State Government to create a data bank for all informal sector to enhance policy planning and effective taxation.
This was part of a communique arising from an annual lecture/convention of the organization held in Asaba, the state capital with the topic “Fiscal Policy and Taxation: Balancing Revenue Generation and Economic Growth”, and signed by Joe Ogbodu and Austin Oyibode, chairman and secretary of communique drafting committee respectively.
In the 15 points communique, the forum contended that for every Deltan to be effectively taxed according to their capacity, there is a need for a data bank of all informal sectors who played key role in the economy of the state.
According to the body, since civil servants pay their taxes from source, a data bank of all informal sector would be useful for the tax collection agencies.
The forum, also tasked the state government to provide justification for taxes collected from individuals and corporate bodies by judiciously deploying the funds to maintaining public facilities, and building public institutions that would have a positive effect on the lives of the citizens.
DOPF maintained that individuals taxpayers would comply with tax payment if the process is simplified, digitalized with user-friendly interfaces provided, as well as tax enlightenment campaign carried out.
They urged the state government to ensure economic diversification, encourage investment, as well as enhanced transparency and accountability, by also improving governance and service delivery, and promotion of cost-cutting measures to increase her IGR base.
The communique frowned at the situation where taxpaying individuals and corporate bodies are overtaxed or overburdened, thus reducing investment portfolio, decreasing consumer spending, discouraging entrepreneurship, and an increase in tax evasion, saying that taxes should be levied in a way that payers can pay to increase the state IGR.
It berated multinational companies who take advantage of Nigeria’s weak institutions and escape payment of taxes stressing that taxes are essential for maintaining public infrastructure, funding social welfare programmes, ensuring national security, and managing the overall functioning of the state.
The communique reads in parts; “That corruption among public officers and tax collection agencies, has been a major challenge for Nigeria as it continuously cripples efforts of the government to meet the needs of citizens. When corruption indices are high, citizens tend to be less willing to pay taxes, fearing that their taxes will be misused or misappropriated.
“That public financial management should be strengthened to enhance the efficiency and equity in public spending, a development which will lead to building public trust and improve compliance and revenue collection
“Expanding the tax net to include more and more diverse payers in the taxation system would help generate more revenue which must be utilized productively through transparent and accountable processes as against increasing the current tax rate. The government should formulate policies to bring the informal sector and agriculture into the tax net.
“For Delta State to enhance a better fiscal policy, the state government should leverage on information and communication technologies to improve revenue generation. Information technology should be used to bring more economic agents within the tax system”.