Tax reforms: Oyedele seeks training of ‘area boys’ for collection

The Federal Government should start implementing the tax reforms by March 2024, according to Taiwo Oyedele, the head of the presidential committee on fiscal policy and tax reforms.

Oyedele told Channels Television in a recent interview that his team wants to engage all the relevant actors in the process — including the street thugs known as “Area Boys”.

The committee submitted a ‘quick win report’ in October 2023, which had 20 suggestions.

President Bola Tinubu ordered a prompt execution of the suggestions after receiving the report.

Oyedele gave an update on the progress, saying that three reforms have been completed, while the others are at various stages of completion.

Oyedele said the committee aims to get everyone involved in the process on board, including the street thugs.

He said “area boys” could be taught how to collect taxes and earn good wages to abandon their old habits.

He also said these measures are intended to eliminate multiple taxes, which he called ‘a problem at the state and local government levels”.

He added: “We think that the local government can increase their revenue by more than 10 times if they follow the suggestions that we’re offering them.”

“We’re looking for ways to raise at least N50 billion, which we can use to pay them for stopping the taxes we’re asking them to stop.

“We’re also considering how to involve all the relevant actors because in the end, if you take away the income of anyone, whether they are making it legally or not, you can create conflicts that would be hard to handle but once you bring everyone in.

“Maybe we need to teach those area boys and touts, give them uniforms and then they’ll be the ones to ask you to show the proof on your phone and then they get paid a good wage.

“If you give them the skills, some of them will on their own, switch from that job to something else.

“So, our plan is let’s think about what’s best for our country and get all the relevant actors to agree.”

Oyedele said he trusts that all the relevant actors, including the government, want the best for the country.

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