Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized a one day stakeholder capacity building forum for Nyanya market women on multiple taxations with support from Tranparency International. The Forum drew 43 participants from Nyanya Market Association; 2 participant from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); 4 participants from Nigerian Tailors Association; 5 participants from Civil Society and 2 participants from the media. The forum featured Dr. Michael Abu as the lead presenter and other discussants. After exhaustive deliberations on thematic issue, the following observations and recommendations were made:
- Imposition of tax remains a vital instrument for the promotion of resource re-allocation, social equity through wealth distribution; and enhancing growth and development in Nigeria.
- Women constitute a high percentage of the population engaging in informal sector business like farming and trading.
- Although, generally women suffer more from multiple taxes at national and states levels; however, women across the grassroots remain the worst hit by era of multiple taxations and unwarranted harassments from unscrupulous characters, who collect illegal taxes from innocent, uneducated market women in disguise of local government tax collectors.
- Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) claimed it has stationed across AMAC markets including Nyanya, Satellite Tax Officers for the collection of tax and receiving related complaints from the marketers; and Nyanya Market Association is unaware of the existence of Satellite Tax Officers.
- Over the years, at Nyanya market, the market has used its personal money to install and maintain infrastructure facilities such as toilet and environmental sanitation in the market without appreciative intervention and benefit from government on heavy tax imposed.
- Over the years, FIRS has passed several legislation against multiple taxes, however, the dearth of implementation at grassroots has aggravated multiple taxations.
- Several factors such as political associates of government who supported and contributed toward election and re-election of politicians, rising unemployment level among the youths and lack of uniform tax framework among the three tiers of government on tax collection.
- The era of multiple taxations has resulted in drastic loss in profit generation and continuous discouragement by market women, and grossly intensifying level of inflation in the country.
- At Nyanya market, appropriate tax base is not known to the marketers.
- All efforts to seek AMAC presence at the forum proved abortive.
- Committed and sincere efforts towards the collection and administration of taxes/levies in Nigeria to provide for effective infrastructural development and re-install human dignity, restore rights and provide accountability for citizens.
- Effective utilization of revenue generation from taxation and sincere efforts to maximize citizens’ rights and benefits from taxation through sufficient and sustainable infrastructure provision.
- Decent, understandable and equitable efforts towards tax collection, especially at the grassroots.
- Collaborative efforts among the three tiers of government towards the provision of agreeable and uniform framework for tax collection.
- Prompt and democratic efforts by the Nyanya Market Association to dialogue with relevant tax authorities on tax to be paid and tax base.
- Collective action by market women to recognize appropriate revenue officers as designated by relevant tax authority.
- Effective implementation of vital legislation instituted by FIRS against multiple taxations in the country.
- Effective awareness and utilization of the existing Satellite Tax Officers instituted by FIRS for Nyanya market to report grieves on multiple taxations.
- Committed effort by relevant tax authorities in collaboration with Civil Society to educate and enlighten Nyanya marketers on their appropriate tax base.
- AMAC should be fully represented at future forum.
The participants expressed their appreciation to CISLAC for embarking on the capacity building forum and to Transparency International for providing the support to this all important program channeled towards resolving multiple taxations at Nyanya market as well as knowledge amongst stakeholders. The FIRS strongly supports the initiative of promoting transparency and accountability in tax collection and administration in the market. Participants expressed gratitude to the organizers noting that the engagement was revealing and indeed an opportunity to begin to create bigger conversation amongst players on taxation at Nyanya market. It was also unanimously agreed that quality of conversation should set an agenda for effective dialogue between the Nyanya Market Association and relevant tax authority.
Mrs. Isilamiyat Adegbolagun
Lady President, Nigerian Union of Tailor, Nyanya
Mr. Earnest Nnamani
Chairman, Nyanya Market Association