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Federal Govt Not Recruiting Area Boys To Collect Taxes – PCFPTR Chairman | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Jan 28, 2024

 

By Ignatius Igwe

The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Taiwo Oyedele, has said the Federal Government is not recruiting ‘area boys’ to collect taxes.

On January 17, Oyedele exclusively told Channels Television that the government could train area boys for tax collection and pay decent salaries to forsake their old ways.

Following the public outcry that trailed the statement, Oyedele took to his X handle on Saturday, to say his comment was taken out of context.

He argued that a person cannot be recruited to do the job they are already doing, whether they are legally engaged or otherwise.

*We are NOT recruiting area boys to collect taxes*
– Taiwo Oyedele

You cannot recruit a person to do the job they are already doing, whether they are legally engaged or otherwise.

We have over 40 taxes and levies which States and Local Governments are authorised by law to…

— Taiwo Oyedele (@taiwoyedele) January 27, 2024

“We have over 40 taxes and levies which States and Local Governments are authorised by law to collect across Nigeria including road taxes on trucks, buses and bicycles, wheelbarrow, kiosks and shops levies,” he said.

“In many cases, area boys are engaged to collect these taxes which they often do through crude, unorthodox means and harassment.

“Painfully, these taxes yield very little revenue to the government despite the huge burden they place on small businesses, artisans and transporters.”

Oyedele said the issue he raised in the interview was not about employing more tax collectors but about finding common ground with those already involved, who have an unofficial stake in the system.

“We propose to eliminate many of these taxes and harmonise a few of them that may be appropriate and devise a civil means of collection using mobile phones,” he said.

Oyedele said the issue he addressed was sensationalised and taken out of context.

According to the tax expert, he was talking about how to “get the buy-in of those who currently collect these taxes (and benefit from doing so beyond whatever they are being paid officially)”.

“I did not mention any word like recruit or employ. My thought on it beyond the legal aspect was to consider the social dimension and find a practical solution that has a high chance of success,” he said.

“The idea is that the government could train the collectors to behave in a civilised manner and pay them decently so that it is comparable to what they currently make.

“Their new role will be to drive and monitor compliance. The payers will pay less and be treated with dignity. Government will earn more, and society will benefit – a win-win outcome for everyone.”

In October 2023, the presidential committee led by Oyedele presented a quick win report which contained 20 recommendations.

President Bola Tinubu, upon receiving the document, directed an immediate implementation of the recommendations.

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