Governors said they are committed to collaborating with Joint Tax Board (JTB) to increase the country’s aggregate tax revenue by up to 200 percent.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), and Ekiti State governor, stated this in a communique made available to journalists on Thursday, at the end of the 2nd meeting of the NGF, this year, which held on Wednesday. He stated that members received a presentation from the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Mr. Muhammad M. Nami, on the National Data for Tax Initiative.
According to Fayemi, the Data for Tax (D4T) Initiative envisages an ecosystem where financial and non-financial data on all individuals and economic transactions will be collated into a central national tax data bank with the National Identification Number (NIN) as the primary unifying code.
“Members pledged their support for the project which is aimed at expanding the country’s tax net to at least 90% of all eligible taxable persons and committed to collaborating with the JTB to increase the country’s aggregate tax revenue by up to 200% as envisaged,” he stated.
Fayemi also disclosed that the National Convener of the UN Food Systems and Permanent Secretary of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Olusola Idowu, delivered a presentation on the National Pathway to Food Systems Transformation.
He explained that the role of governors in the plan is to prioritise the establishment of farm settlement estates for groups of smallholder producers, including women and youths, to increase the supply of farm inputs, the use of machinery, access to extension services, and market access.
The chairman assured that the Forum affirmed its commitment to the ideals of the programme which many states are already pursuing and committed to working with the Federal Government to expand the development of these settlements across the country.
“The Forum also received a presentation on the status of the country’s digital identification programme from Engr. Aliyu A. Aziz, Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
To strengthen the national enrollment exercise which has so far seen the issuance of over 74 million National Identification Numbers (NIN) to Nigerians across the country, governors pledged to support the programme through a string of measures, including support for sensitisation activities, integration of NIN in state services and collaboration with telecoms providers to improve network infrastructure for sustained identity registration and authentication.
“Governors re-echoed the need to complete the harmonisation and integration of databases, to reduce the carriage of multiple identifications (IDs) by citizens, noting that being able to uniquely identify persons is extremely important for social security and cross-state border management.
NIMC is to liaise with state governments through its various state coordinators in addition to working with the NGF secretariat. “A programme update on NG-CARES was delivered by the NGF secretariat’s Programme Manager, Mrs. Firo Elhassan Kaka, on the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme.
All 36 states of the federation have already received letters of eligibility for the programme, and all results achieved by the states with effect from June 2020 are eligible for verification as prior results.
These will be assessed for re- reimbursement at the next verification exercise. “The NGF secretariat’s Health Adviser, Dr. Ahmad Abdulwahab, also delivered an update on the country’s health security interventions, particularly on the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (COPREP) and the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPF).
“Members also discussed the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lassa fever outbreak, the need to improve the quality of polio campaigns, as well as the setup of State Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance Services (SEMSA) with accredited health facilities and requisite personnel”, read part of the communique.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has also commenced discussions with the governors to provide insights on the proposed sale of five power plants under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
According to the NGF chairman, the BPE boss’s presentation was part of the consultative process with state governments who are shareholders of the plants. “Mr. Alex Okoh, Director- General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), briefed the state governors on the proposed sale of five power plants under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
The presentation was part of the consultative process with state governments who are shareholders of the plants,” he said. Besides, the communique also stated that from the 23rd to 25th February 2022, governors will be joined by a delegation from Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to deepen the government’s engagement on routine immunisation, health system strengthening and COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
(Daily Independent in newsexpressngr.com)