By Cletus Opukeme, Asaba
The 4th annual lecture series of the Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), took place on Wednesday in Asaba, with Fiscal Policy and Taxation: Balancing Revenue Generation and Economic Growth as the theme.
Dwelling on the subject, the Guest Speaker and renowned financial expert, Dr Doris Amaka Ochei, commended DOPF for the choice of the theme, which she noted was apt, as it was key to the functions of government.
Dr Ochei said no government could function effectively without Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from taxes on the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
She stated that while the government would do everything in its power to maximize revenue, including multiple taxation, to be able to provide basic services to the people, the tax payers, especially those in the informal sector, would always aim to preserve their financial gains.
The Guest Speaker maintained that over-taxing businesses and individuals was detrimental to investment, and could reduce consumers’ purchasing power, positive global competitiveness, as well as discourage entrepreneurship and promote tax evasion.
Dr Ochei said to encourage tax compliance, government should simplify collection processes and streamline tax filing and payment procedures, utilize digital platforms and provide user-friendly interfaces, enhance tax-payer education, offer incentives such as tax deductions and credits, strengthen enforcement of tax compliance, ensure transparent communication and personalized assistance.
To increase IGR, overcome the challenges of tax collection and economic growth without over-taxing businesses and individuals, the Guest Speaker called on government to diversify the economy and explore alternative sources of revenue, improve tax collection, encourage investment, enhance transparency and accountability, improve governance and service delivery.
She stressed the need for government at all levels to strike a balance between taxation and economic growth to ensure a sustainable healthy economy.
In his welcome address, DOPF Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Enebeli, said this year’s lecture aligned with the Forum’s commitment to contributing to the shaping a fiscal landscape capable of propelling the nation towards the prosperity and general well-being of all.
Enebeli called on the participants to utilize the pivotal discourse to pull collective wisdom and expertise that would help to strike a harmonious balance between revenue generation and economic growth.