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Nigeria wouldn’t have made it through the year if… — Oyedele

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The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, has said that, but for Bola Tinubu’s prompt decision to remove fuel subsidies, the nation would not have survived a year longer since the country was broke.

Speaking on ‘The Current Economic Reality in Nigeria and Imperatives of a Reform’, at the ongoing National Advertising Conference, organised by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) in Abuja, Oyedele argued that it was obvious that subsidy was no longer sustainable going by the available economic indicators, as at the time the new government was taking over the mantle of leadership.

“Government revenue was low, public debt was rising, and the cost of servicing debt as of 2022 for the federal government was 96 per cent of the revenue for that year. With all these, we don’t need any economist, rocket scientist, or prophet to tell us that that is no longer sustainable,” he stated.

Attributing the nation’s economic woes to mismanagement, Oyedele identified the issue of multiple taxes and levies as one of those factors inhibiting business and economic growth in the country.

According to him, at the end of the 9th National Assembly a few months ago, over 250 bills on review of levies and taxes were at the national assembly, waiting to be passed.

“I said to myself if someone is adding this one per cent, here two per cent there, being sought by the bills, it would be virtually impossible for anyone who wants to do business and comply with the law,” he added.

While allaying the fears being expressed in some quarters that the committee has come with more taxes, Oyedele assured of the committee’s intention to eradicate multiple taxation and target single-digit taxation.

Oyedele, however, called on the nation’s advertising practitioners to support the government’s efforts at repositioning the economy by creating awareness among the people about their civic responsibility.

In his appraisal of the present state of the economy, Oyedele argued that the economy is still not growing well, at 2%, while the country’s population is growing at 3%.

He insisted that with the continued decline in investment, the country may find it difficult to experience the much-needed economic growth, thereby making its dream of pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty a fruition.

In his welcome address, the Director General, Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), explained that this year’s edition of the conference, the third in the series, was designed to take a detailed look at advertising as an economic enabler to bring forth suggestions and recommendations that will impact the industry positively and the Nigerian economy at large.

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