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Dwindling Oil Revenue: Saraki Seeks Positive Tax Culture

Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
For visible development impact and infrastructure buoyancy, President of the Senate, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians from both private and public sectors of the economy to develop positive tax culture in order to sustain governmental responsiveness in meeting the demands of the citizens.
Saraki, who disclosed this when he received executive members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), led by their President, Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande, in Abuja, said that the deficit in the 2016 Budget constitutes a serious burden for the Federal Government.
According to an emailed statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, on Sunday evening, Saraki maintained that the only panacea for the present economic decline is to look inwards.
He stated that the country is going through hard times.
“The truth is that, going forward, we must remind ourselves how we got to this situation where revenues have dropped significantly. As a country, we are going through a very difficult time.
“This is not only in Nigeria, it is a global crisis. These days, era of easy money is over. We must engage private sector for better performance.
“First, we must create an enabling environment for our businesses to grow. The private sector has a role to play. There is a need to enhance a positive tax culture.
“There is a need for mutual cooperation and patriotism among different government agencies, parastatals and private organizations. This collaboration should enhance exchange of information, and reduce the incidence of tax evasion, as well as fraudulent tax practices,” Saraki said.
The Senate President assured his guests of the Senate’s readiness to partner with all relevant stakeholder in the onerous task of moving the nation forward, adding that the present economic challenges have refocused government’s intent towards diversification and moving away from over dependence on oil as a major revenue earner.
Saraki further stated that governments cannot single-handedly cater for the need of all its citizens.
“We have to work together. We need your support. In the area of infrastructure, government alone cannot do it. We are ready to work with you and once we can do that, we will be able to ride over these difficult times,” he added.
In her remark, LCCI President, Akande, lauded the 8th Senate under the leadership of Saraki for its supportive roles and quality of legislations.
She revealed that the Chamber is ready to support every effort of the government aimed at enhancing the financial fortunes of the country.
Akande called for adjustment and sacrifice for both government and private sector interest, saying that such adjustment will help in revamping the economy within the shortest possible time.=END=

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