Capital market experts, at the weekend renewed calls for the Federal Government to review the nation’s tax system, and reduce excessive taxes especially on listed firms, and encourage more investment into the market.
Besides, they stressed the need to address Nigeria’s security challenges, and economic instability to guarantee safety of investment.
The stakeholders, who spoke in an interview with The Guardian, argued that one of the major reasons many companies, multinationals and domestic alike, shun listing on the nation’s bourse is to avoid excessive taxes and other policies that would deter investment growth and profitability.
According to them, if government reviewed the existing tax administration such that the system becomes more simplified, it would attract investment into the country, and spur activities in the primary market segment of the Exchange.
Furthermore, they pointed out that multiple taxes hinders companies’ growth, prevents productive diversification, and discourages investment inflow into Nigeria.
They therefore suggested that government must create the enabling environment to promote investment inflow and new businesses in the country.
Specifically, the Chairman, House of Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, Yusuf Tajudeen, told The Guardian that: “Any investor who wants to invest anywhere in the world, the first thing you think of is not returns but the security of your investment.
“If I cannot get return, can I get my money back, that’s why the laws that are being amended is to guarantee that trust, the moment people have that trust in the market, they will come.”
The President, Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie, said to increase investment in the market, governments at all levels must tackle the problem of multiple taxes, as this is a disincentive to investment.
“Government must watch out excess taxes at the federal, states, and local levels. The level of tax payments in Nigeria is killing, and it is worrisome.
“They must begin to look for tax cut regime to curb this menace. Those who deserve tax holiday and incentives must be given to them. Also over regulation of the market must be curtailed.
“The Financial Reporting Council is going about reeling out laws; they are not SEC saddled to regulate capital markets. These are things causing problems in the markets rights now; too much regulators.”
The National President, Constance Shareholders Association, Shehu Mikail, argued that more investors would be attracted to market if government streamlined some policies especially the tax system.
By Helen Oji
The Guardian Newspaper March 12th, 2018