Oil slump: Focus on other sectors, Professionals tell FG

Posted by News Express | 2 January 2015 | 3,184 times

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Following projected cuts in 2015 spending of oil-producing nations, which arose from uncertainties over crude oil price, professionals in Nigeria have urged the Federal Government to focus on strengthening non-oil sectors in the country to complement revenues made from oil.

The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), however, expressed optimism that if adequately explored by government, potentials of the nation’s youths are enormous enough to fill vacuum created by oil revenue deficit.

It further appealed that government should revitalize the country’s mining sector as part of “efforts to rectify massive imbalances in the economy, since the solid mineral sector is crucial to overcoming the historic dependence on oil and gas.”

APBN spoke through a statement by its President/Chairman of its Board, Foluso Fasoto.

The association blamed the worsening global drift in oil price on continued reduction of United States of America’s crude oil import.

The professionals, however, challenged the rationale and workability of Luxury Tax being proposed by government on luxury goods.

They said if it should be implemented as proposed, “it will be appropriate to implement this tax as part of Value Added Tax Act with a higher rate not below ten percent (10%)…

“The efficacy of such tax is also doubtful as those who the tax aims to bring into the tax net i.e. the elites are able to easily short change the system," APBN further argued, adding:

“If the luxury tax must be introduced, clear and unambiguous definition and categorization of items that constitute luxury goods must be established.”

APBN quoted copiously nations that had adopted such measure to address decline in their revenues and challenges faced by the policy.

It said: “How relevant will its introduction be to the Nigerian economy? This can be appraised through the following parameters viz:

“Compatibility with the tenets of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) viz-a-viz exigencies for more government revenue; Compatibility with the tenets of the National Tax Policy which was adopted and launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the year 2012; how broad or narrow is the targeted tax base?"

The group further reminded the levels of government in the country to promote quality services across sectors, ensure probity and accountability, increase access to wealth creation, lead by example and show leadership in tax payment, themselves.

•Adapted from National Mirror. Photo shows APBN President Foluso Fasoto.

Source: News Express

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