PLANS by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to raise Nigeria’s aggregate tax revenue by 200 per cent got the nod of governors yesterday.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) also restated its support for the United Nation’s agriculture programme by establishing farm settlements in their domains.
These developments were contained in a communique issued at the end of the forum’s meeting on Wednesday. It was made available to reporters yesterday.
The governors took the decisions after listening to presentations by representatives of the JTB and the UN.
The communique reads: “Members received a presentation from the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Service (FIRS) and Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Mr. Muhammad M. Nami, on the National Data for Tax Initiative.
“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 per cent of all eligible taxable persons and committed to collaborating with the JTB to increase the country’s aggregate tax revenue by up to 200 per cent as envisaged.
“The National Convenor 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.
“The role of governors in the plan is to prioritize 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 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 NGF promised to support the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) after a presentation by NIMC Director General/Chief Executive Officer. Aliyu A. Aziz.
It said: “To strengthen the national enrolment 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 sensitization 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 harmonization 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.”
The governors congratulated their Anambra State counterpart, Willie Obiano, who attended the meeting for the last time.
Obiano will hand over to Prof. Charles Soludo on March 17.
The statement said: “Governor Obiano was applauded by his colleagues for his impressive performance in Anambra State and his contributions to the growth of the NGF, and particularly for significantly enhancing governance outcomes for the people of Anambra State and for overseeing a smooth transition to the incoming governor.”