Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 8 February 2016 | 2,121 times
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians from both the private and public sectors of the economy to develop a positive tax culture, in order to sustain governmental responsiveness in meeting the demands of the citizens.
Speaking when he received the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Nike Akande, and other executive members of the body in Abuja, Saraki said that the deficit in the 2016 budget constitutes a serious burden for government, and that the only panacea for the present economic decline is to look inwards.
He noted that the country is going through hard times, saying: “The truth is that, going forward, we must remind ourselves how we got to this situation where revenues have dropped significantly.
“As a country, we are going through a very difficult time. This is not only in Nigeria, it is a global crisis. These days, era of easy money is over. We must engage private sector for better performance.
“First, we must create an enabling environment for our businesses to grow. The private sector has a role to play. There is a need to enhance a positive tax culture.
“There is a need for mutual cooperation and patriotism among different government agencies, parastatals and private organisations. This collaboration should enhance exchange of information, and reduce the incidence of tax evasion as well as fraudulent tax practices.”
The Senate President assured his guests of the Upper Chamber’s readiness to partner with all relevant stakeholders in the onerous task of moving the nation forward. He said that the present economic challenges have refocused government’s intent towards diversification and moving away from over dependence on oil as a major revenue earner.
Saraki further stated that governments cannot single-handedly cater for the needs of all its citizens, adding: “We have to work together. We need your support. In the area of infrastructure, government alone cannot do it. We are ready to work with you and once we can do that, we will be able to ride over these difficult times.”
In her remarks, the President, LCCI, Dr. Akande, lauded the 8th Senate under the leadership of Dr. Saraki for its supportive roles and quality of legislations, saying LCCI is ready to support every effort of the government aimed at enhancing the financial fortunes of the country.
Akande called for adjustment and sacrifice for both government and private sector interest, saying, such adjustment will help in revamping the economy within the shortest possible time.
She called for the intervention of the National Assembly in the new framework for autonomous foreign exchange market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and to control inflow of capital into the nation’s economy.
•Photo shows Saraki.
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