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Tax default: Debiting companies’ accounts have grave implications for investors, financial inclusion-LCCI

.Commends FG over first tranche payment of N237bn promissory notes

Motolani Oseni

As the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) determines to take stiff measure against thousands of millionaires tax defaulters in the country, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the revenue agency and the commercial banks to exercise utmost restraint in adopting tax revenue recovery strategy based on its grave implications for investors, financial inclusion and the economy. The LCCI through its Director-General, Muda Yusuf, cautioned FIRS in Lagos against freezing and debiting bank accounts of companies’ on grounds of tax defaults. According to him, the damage to the economy may be much more than the contemplated revenue. Revenue generation is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end. “The ultimate objective is to ensure equity, improve the welfare of citizens, create jobs and promote the advancement of the economy. “The disruptions to businesses resulting from sudden freezing of bank accounts for reasons of alleged default in tax payment has caused irreparable reputational damage to many businesses,” Yusuf said in a statement. Yusuf, however, commended the Federal Government for the first tranche payment of N237 billion promissory notes outstanding petroleum subsidy claims. “The Chamber urged the government to effect the payment of the balance of the subsidy claims without delay,” he said. Yusuf also commended the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in granting partial interest waivers to oil marketers on their indebtedness to banks. “The Chamber also proposed the expeditious passage and assent of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the deregulation of the sector to put an end to the recurring subsidy problem,” he said.

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