There has been a call for the federal government to increase its revenue base by further taxing taxi drivers, carpenters, market vendors and other small business workers.
The appeal was made on Wednesday by a federal lawmaker, Fakeye Olufemi representing Boluwaduro / Ifedayo / Ila Federal Constituency of Osun State in the House of Representatives.
He observed that these groups of people earn huge amounts of money, but because the government has failed to extend the tax net to them, a lot of revenue is lost as the federal government continues to borrow and accumulate more. of debts.
Olufemi addressed the House plenary while contributing to the debate on the 2022 budget figures recently submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The lawmaker said it was obvious the government needed more money, but borrowing was becoming overwhelming, hence the need to consider other alternatives.
The Rep member therefore called on the federal government to explore collecting taxes from more self-employed people to increase incomes and close budget deficits rather than focusing only on those from which taxes are deducted directly. at the time of payment of wages.
He also spoke out against borrowing activity in the third or fourth quarter of the year as the fiscal cycle draws to a close. Rather, he proposed that if the government takes out loans to finance an operating budget, it should not exceed the first or second quarter of such a year.
In his words, “As I salute the Honorable President and my colleagues sitting here and even the Senate for complying with the executive’s request to reset the button on a January to December cycle for budgeting; I think it’s fair to expect that if we do this – which we did, there should be a timely budget implementation. I know it’s easy to talk, it’s harder to implement.
“I like to say that to the executive; if you are going to borrow to implement the project for a year – they should borrow in January, February and March and not borrow or try to arrange borrowing in the third or fourth quarter of the year that you want to fund implemented.
“I am aware of this right now and it has been said here that only two quarterly releases have been made now – we are in the last quarter of the year. It is a joke about how much effort we put in day in and day out to make sure the budget gets passed on time.
“And I pay attention to the shortfall for the government and I start to wonder and I remember when I was young, everyone pays taxes. Whether you are a farmer, your daddy was a carpenter, whatever he did for a living he paid taxes.
“Now we have tended to forgive everyone for taxing them except those with income where the tax is deducted from your income and the rest goes to you.
“I think our tax reform should be such that every Nigerian has a chance to contribute. Go ahead and talk to 80 or 90 percent of Nigerians, many of whom are self-employed; they no longer pay taxes
“So when we hear the FIRS or the tax organizations, even the joint tax council widens the tax net; why are they reluctant to find a way to make people pay – whether you’re a carpenter, a taxi driver, selling rice in the market – these people make a lot of money but they don’t pay anything. So I think this is an area that I would like to see increase in income. “