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Saraki Seeks Positive Tax Culture Over Dwindling Oil Revenue

Bukola Saraki

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians from both private and public sectors of the economy to develop positive tax culture in order to sustain governmental responsiveness in meeting the demands of the citizens.

Saraki who disclosed this when he received the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Nike Akande and other executive members of the body in Abuja, said that the deficit in the 2016 budget constitute a serious burden for government, saying the only panacea for the present economic decline  is to look inwards.

He stated 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 organizations. This collaboration should enhance exchange of information, and reduce the incidence of tax evasion as well as fraudulent tax practices,” Saraki said.

The Senate President assured his guests of the Senate’s readiness to partner with all relevant stakeholder in the onerous task of moving the nation forward, adding that the present economic challenges have refocused government’s intent towards diversification and moving away from over dependance on oil as a major revenue earner.

Saraki further stated that governments cannot single-handedly cater for the need 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 remark, the President, LCCI, Dr. Akande, lauded the 8th Senate under the leadership of Dr. Saraki for its supportive roles and quality of legislations, saying the Chamber 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 would 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.

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