In a significant address at a stakeholders’ forum organized by the Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria in Lagos, Taiwo Oyedele, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, emphasized Nigeria’s potential to annually earn N10tn through the efficient management of its non-oil assets.
Oyedele stressed the importance of improved asset management and highlighted the potential benefits of selling underperforming assets to generate liquidity, thereby stimulating economic growth. Speaking passionately at the forum, he urged the nation to envision the impact of efficient management, stating, “Imagine that you become more efficient with a N100tn asset alone; even if you get a return of 10 percent yearly, that’s easily N10tn. If you cannot manage the asset well, then sell it and get liquidity in.”
The chairman underscored the negligence surrounding the country’s non-oil assets, estimated to be between N80tn and N100tn, asserting that they had not received adequate attention and were being mismanaged. Oyedele revealed startling findings, stating, “We found out that other than oil when you are talking about assets, some estimates, although still working on it, show something in the region of N80tn to N100tn scattered all over the place. We haven’t shown any care at all as a country about those assets, such that they have been mismanaged.”
Expressing concern, Oyedele disclosed instances where valuable assets worth trillions of naira were being exploited, with individuals even registering companies to hold these assets and shareholders operating within Nigeria.
The committee chairman announced the impending unveiling of comprehensive tax reforms aimed at bolstering economic growth and alleviating the burden on businesses. Oyedele highlighted the pivotal aspect of recognizing the challenges faced by businesses, especially the tax pressures on working capital.
He assured that businesses not liable to tax would be spared, aligning with the broader goal of creating a balanced and conducive environment for economic growth. Oyedele also revealed the committee’s drafted new tax regulation, awaiting passage through the emergency bill by lawmakers to issue the regulation, signaling a proactive approach to address the taxation landscape in Nigeria.