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FG canvasses unified tax approach for transportation system

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The Federal Government has called for a unified tax regime for Nigeria’s transportation system.

Multiple taxations have been described as inimical to business development and sustainability.

Besides, the government said one of the undoings of the transportation sector is unregulated taxation, which has made the cost of doing business in Nigeria very high. As such, the need for the declaration of a state of emergency to streamline taxation in the transport sector becomes imperative.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Magdalene Ajani made this disclosure on the sidelines of the just-concluded two-day National Transportation Technology Conference and Exhibitions (NTTCE), organised by the forum of Transportation Commissioners in Nigeria.

Ajani said there is a need to find a way to make transport business attractive in Nigeria and create jobs for the teeming youthful population, which is one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandates to every sector of the economy.

According to her, going forward, local governments/area councils and states should follow best practices and procedures to determine taxes with consideration for safety. Ajani said the practice of throwing wooden planks decorated with nails to stop moving vehicles on highways is unacceptable.

She said sensitisation of vehicle owners and operators on the required levies and charges should be encouraged while leveraging technology for a single-window payment for taxes and services.

Ajani said just like the motor vehicle and driver’s license online administration, technology can be leveraged for other motor vehicle charges and fees with a simple code to verify compliance.

However, she said the National Council on Transportation is a yearly stakeholders’ forum, with a Council Secretariat that is open all year round and ready to be engaged. “If possible, an emergency council could be conveyed whenever the need arises,” Ajani said.

She said the ministry is willing and ready to advise and/or join any conversation towards the harmonisation of some of these variables in the transportation sector, stating that there is also a need for capacity building of technical officers handling policies and programme implementation in the respective states.

“As we await the approval of the National Transport Policy, I encourage us to step up on our engagements and participation in the National Council on Transportation. We await the Memorandum of the salient matters discussed in this Conference in the next NCT,” Ajani said.

She said the Federal Government, despite the categorisation of roles into exclusive and concurrent lists, understands the need for intergovernmental cooperation and partnership in the management and operational efficiency of every transportation mode.

“The recent spate of insecurity in our country particularly on our transportation modes such as the recent Airport attack, train corridor attack, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) sit-at-home declaration, incessant attacks on some of our marine corridors, among others, cannot be resolved with only the Federal Arm without cooperation of the States/Local Governments Arms.

“For this reason, the Ministry incorporated an Intergovernmental Acquaintance Forum at the sidelines of the 16th National Council on Transportation (NCT), held in Kano State, last year. A continuous platform for friendly synergy, will advance and support effective policy formulation, implementation, monitoring as well as intervene in a timely review of the various modes of Transportation -air, marine, railway, road, and pipeline- among other cross-cutting matters in the transport industry,” she said.