The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Taiwo Oyedele has stated that the federal government is not planning to recruit area boys to collect taxes contrary to what news reported quoted him as saying in an interview on Channels TV.
Taiwo Oyedele debunked the misleading media reports in a post on his verified X handle on Saturday.
He said , “you cannot recruit a person to do the job they are already doing, whether they are legally engaged or otherwise.”
The Chairman of the Tax and Fiscal Reforms Committee pointed out that there already more than 40 taxes and levies which States and Local Governments are authorised by law to collect across Nigeria including road taxes on trucks, buses and bicycles, wheelbarrow, kiosks and shops levies.
“In many cases, area boys are engaged to collect these taxes which they often do through crude, unorthodox means and harassment.
“Painfully, these taxes yield very little revenue to the government despite the huge burden they place on small businesses, artisans and transporters.
“We propose to eliminate many of these taxes and harmonise a few of them that may be appropriate and devise a civil means of collection using mobile phones”, Oyedele added.
The tax expert went further to clarify that the issue he addressed during his interview on Channels TV, which according to him, has been sensationalised and taken out of context, was how to get the buy-in of those who currently collect these taxes (and obviously benefit from doing so beyond whatever they are being paid officially). He stated that at no point in the interview did he mention any word like recruit or employ.
“My thought on it beyond the legal aspect was to consider the social dimension and find a practical solution that has a high chance of success. The idea being that government could train the collectors to behave in a civilised manner and pay them decently so that it is comparable to what they currently make.
“Their new role will be to drive and monitor compliance. The payers will pay less and be treated with dignity. Government will earn more, and society will benefit – a win-win outcome for everyone”, he concluded