Oyedele-led Committee Proposes Five Executive Orders to Fast-track Reforms

The Taiwo Oyedele-led Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms has introduced five executive orders aimed at expediting fiscal reforms and revitalizing Nigeria’s economy.

  1. Combating Inflation and Promoting Price Stability:
    • Suspend import duty and VAT on specified items.
    • Permit millers to import paddy rice.
    • Fix the exchange rate for import duty at N800.
    • Prioritize productive spending.
    • Settle accumulated ways and means.
  2. Stimulating Employment:
    • Offer relief for wage awards.
    • Subsidize transport for low-income staff.
    • Enable Nigerians to work remotely for foreign companies.
  3. Enhancing Non-oil Exports and International Trade:
    • Tax exemptions for repatriated export proceeds of services and intellectual property.
    • Zero-rated VAT for all non-oil exports.
    • Relax restrictions on the use of export proceeds.
    • Remove the Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) requirement for forex applications.
  4. Ensuring Prudent Financial Management and Fiscal Sustainability:
    • Mandate MDAs to remit operating surpluses above N5 billion.
    • Ban foreign trips for events aimed at Nigerians.
    • Enforce electronic payment of estacode.
    • Direct payments to MDAs’ contractors are to be made directly.
    • Require all payments of fees to be in naira with MDAs’ forex banked with the CBN.
  5. Consolidating Tax Information and Collaboration:
    • Mandate the use of NIN and RC numbers.
    • Establish a national tax data governance framework.

These orders are part of approximately 450 policy recommendations by the committee to enhance Nigeria’s revenue profile and create a more conducive, internationally competitive business environment.

“Our executive orders have not yet been sent to the president. We are still finalizing engagement rounds and will seek the finance minister’s approval next,” said Oyedele at a stakeholder exposure and impact assessment session in Abuja. “We are meeting with finance commissioners across states, local governments, the Joint Tax Board, and others to ensure broad consensus.”

The committee also suggests amending the constitution to require Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to submit audited accounts of previous years’ budgets as a condition for new budget approvals. This aims to ensure transparency and accountability.

Further, the committee recommends the government allocate a minimum percentage of annual spending to infrastructure and human capital development, with specific headings such as infrastructure, human capital investment, personnel cost, headcount & productivity, administrative overheads, debt service & sinking funds, and implementing zero-based budgeting.

“We want our budget to clearly outline spending on roads, electricity, ports, and potable water to improve welfare and stimulate economic activities,” Oyedele stated.

Other proposals include:

  • Detailed headings for personnel cost, headcount, and productivity for effective planning.
  • Caps on personnel costs, administrative overheads, and sinking funds.
  • Opposition to accompanying the annual budget with a Finance Act, proposing comprehensive reforms every five years instead.

To boost revenue, the committee aims to reduce the number of taxes citizens pay to single digits and increase the tax-to-GDP ratio from about 11% to at least 18% within two to three years, targeting a revenue-to-GDP ratio of 30%. It also proposes VAT centralization with states entitled to up to 90% of total collections and removing VAT on essentials like food, health, rent, and education.

The committee suggests gradually reducing Company Income Tax (CIT) by about 5% over the next two years, considering Nigeria’s high CIT rate a deterrent to investment.

To combat corruption, the committee recommends a constitutional amendment to bar convicted individuals from receiving presidential pardons and proposes that tax violators be ineligible for public office. A whistle-blowing framework is being developed to address tax system corruption.

Further recommendations include simplifying Withholding Tax (WHT) regulations, establishing the Nigeria Revenue Service to replace the Federal Inland Revenue Service, and transitioning monthly FAAC allocations to daily disbursements. The committee also suggests creating revenue courts for prompt tax dispute resolution.

“Simplicity, clarity, certainty, convenience, efficiency, flexibility, sustainability, accountability, and transparency will guide our tax system going forward,” assured Oyedele.


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