Thursday, May 30, 2024

Tinubu Vows To Spearhead Economic Reform for Growth

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has stated his commitment to spearheading transformative reforms aimed at revitalising the nation and enhancing the welfare of its citizens.

Speaking at the commencement of an Economic Retreat for House of Representatives members in Abuja, President Tinubu underscored the urgency of these reforms, acknowledging that some are long overdue.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, President Tinubu emphasised the imperative of diversifying Nigeria’s economy beyond its historical reliance on the oil and gas sector.

While recognizing the sector’s pivotal role in the nation’s economic landscape, he affirmed the government’s unwavering dedication to exploring avenues for economic diversification while simultaneously optimizing the revenue potential of the oil and gas industry.

“For this reason, we are pushing policies to attract investment in the oil and gas sector. Recently, I signed an executive order to unlock about $10 billion in fresh investments in the sector. This will happen through Fiscal Incentives for Non-Associated Gas (NAG), Midstream and Deepwater Oil & Gas Developments. Just last week, the Federal Government of Nigeria signed the Consolidated Guidelines for Implementing Fiscal Incentives for the Oil & Gas Sector.

“The guidelines, which represent a cornerstone of the Presidential Directive, aim to enhance the Nigerian oil and gas sector’s global competitiveness while stimulating economic growth.

Tinubu Opens Reps Retreat on Economic, Tax Reforms

“The Executive Order also streamlines contracting processes, procedures, and timelines from 36 months to 6 months. The order also seeks to ensure that local content requirements are implemented without impeding investments or the cost competitiveness of oil and gas projects,” he said.

President Tinubu added that the government has also embarked on tax reforms “to limit the taxes collected without negatively affecting government revenues.  All of these have the same objective – to reduce government interference with the commercial imperatives of businesses in the country so that businesses based here can be competitive and focus on their core objectives of economic growth through innovation and trade.”

Earlier, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, said the 10th House is ready to support the economic policies and programmes of the Tinubu administration.

Abbas stated that the country’s collection of Value Added “is the lowest among its African peers, indicating significant inefficiencies in its tax system.”

He stated that the parliament would engage with stakeholders on laws governing finance, tax, and oil sub-sectors of the economy, with the aim of reforming the tax system.

According to him, “As a critical arm of government, the legislature has a crucial role in shaping our nation’s economic transformation and development. Part of our law-making powers is the authority to enact tax reforms and strengthen resource governance mechanisms.

“By designing and implementing progressive tax policies, we strive to ensure a fair and efficient tax system that boosts revenue while fostering economic growth and equity. This involves not only broadening the tax base and simplifying tax codes but also enhancing compliance and minimising loopholes that benefit only the wealthy.

“Furthermore, the legislature’s oversight function is central in the governance of natural and financial resources. It ensures transparency and accountability in the exploitation and management of resources, which is essential for sustainable development. By holding government and private sectors accountable, the legislature helps prevent the mismanagement and corruption that can often undermine economic progress.”

The speaker noted that the retreat is aimed at fostering stakeholders’ engagement, ensuring constructive dialogue and insights on legislative strategies that will contribute to the economic transformation of our country.

“Accordingly, this forum allows us to take a deep dive into the tax reforms instituted by President Tinubu and undertake a review of the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (2021). We consider these two initiatives vital in our nation’s quest for economic recovery, transformation and growth. The two areas speak to both the oil and non-oil sectors of the Nigerian economy,” he said.

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