Taiwo Oyedele defends N5 billion funding for tax reforms committee

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Marketers clash with Tinubu's tax adviser over refineries sale
Marketers clash with Tinubu's tax adviser over refineries sale

The Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, Taiwo Oyedele, has issued clarifications regarding the transfer of N5 billion by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to support the committee’s activities.

In a statement posted on his official handle, Oyedele explained that the N5 billion mentioned by the former FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami, pertains to a national “Data for Tax” project championed by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) for over two years.

Transparency and prudent financial management

This project was presented to the National Economic Council in 2022 and was intended to be funded jointly by the federal government and the 36 states.

However, due to a lack of funds, the project had stalled. Given its significance in reforming the tax system, it was included in the Committee’s budget.

Oyedele assured transparency in all financial matters and disclosed that over N4 billion of the transferred funds remain unspent and securely held in the JTB account.

He emphasized the responsible and prudent management of public funds, stating that all expenses incurred by the Committee are diligently documented and available for audit.

The budget of the Committee, which received approval from the National Assembly, covers various aspects, including office setup in Lagos and Abuja, staff salaries, logistics for over 70 members, stakeholder engagements, international activities, and a one-year timeframe for the Committee’s operations.

Oyedele highlighted the volunteer-based nature of the Committee, emphasizing that members receive reasonable allowances to cover their out-of-pocket expenses, as commercial rates cannot be afforded.

He clarified that despite working full-time on the assignment as the Chairman, he does not receive a salary.

The Committee’s mandate extends beyond producing reports and recommendations; it also includes implementing approved proposals that require funding, ensuring prudence, and accountability in the management of national resources.