Presidential Tax Reforms Committee Moves to Boost BPO Business in Nigeria

Taiwo Oyedele, chairman of the presidential committee on fiscal policy and tax reforms


Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee has identified the impediments to dwindling growth and fortune of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) business in the country and moves to remove them to ensure that the country takes a pride place in the sector.

Taiwo Oyedele, chairman of the committee, said at a workshop for journalist in Lagos on Thursday that his committee identified tax structure in the country which hinders international organizations from hiring Nigerians living in the country to work for them.

“Our existing tax structure demands that any company outside of Nigeria that hires Nigerians living in the country to work remotely will be expected to pay tax on the company’s income as well as on the income of the Nigerian working for the company.

“This tax structure has pushed overseas companies away from Nigeria to countries such as India and Philippines that their BPO sector have grown exponentially. With the removal of tax on the company’s income, we have created a level playing ground for BPO business to flourish in the country,” he said.

It would be recalled that Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) had put the worth of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) ecosystem in the country at $285.8Million.

According to Inuwa, “today, Nigeria Outsourcing sector worth $285.8M employing 16,540 Nigerians mostly living in Nigeria and working for companies outside Nigeria.

“We started in 2020 with a strategy and engaged with the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to develop the strategy and some of them started operations in the mid of 2020 and we want to expand this because we believe the sector will create more jobs than any other sector in Nigeria”.

Oyedele, added that his committee has proposed a single digit number of 8 taxes to be collected by all the tiers of governments in the country.

“One of the critical challenges facing the tax system in Nigeria is the shockingly high level of non-compliance as a result of low tax morale. Tax Morale is the willingness to comply with taxes and the belief that tax evasion is wrong,” he noted.

He said the principle behind these is to do away with nuisance taxes with very low revenue yield, high cost of collection and ultimate burden on the poor and small businesses.

“Focus on high revenue yielding taxes, that are broad-based and relatively ease to collect. Merge taxes and levies that are imposed on the same or substantially similar tax base. Institutionalize the tax harmonization reform to ensure sustainability,” he stated.

According to him, “the outcomes expected include; Eliminate informal & implicit taxes, harmonise tax administration, rationalize tax incentives, leverage technology and big data, modernise customs administration, simplify compliance, optimise resources and government assets.

Budget better – Restructure the budget (classify items under infrastructure; human capital investment; personnel cost, headcount & productivity; administrative overheads; debt service & sinking funds), fully implemented zero based budgeting, and introduce long term appropriation.

Spend better – Tackle systemic corruption, prioritise spending on basic needs to address multidimensional poverty, restrict borrowing to productive spending and self-financing projects, leverage PPP and equity financing for viable projects, enhance public procurement effectiveness.

Manage better – Leverage technology for revenue, debt, and expenditure management. Adhere to fiscal rules and benchmark with strict penalties for violations. Establish a national fiscal risk framework and processes to prevent, detect, and correct financial infractions.

Report better – Harmonise and standardise reporting, provide transparent and timely information, enhance audit & internal control, administer consequences.

The eight proposed taxes are; Income Tax; Value Added Tax; Property tax; Customs duties; Excise tax; Stamp duties; Special levy and Harmonised levy.

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