The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has stressed what it called the “the pivotal role” the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) can play in the economic development of the country.
It stated that in the attempt to fast-tract tax revenue to a prime source of government finance in the country’s economic development drive, the agency roles and responsibilities cannot over emphasised.
President and Chairman of Council CITN, Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice who stated this in Lagos during the 22nd annual tax conference organised by the institute recently also commended the agency commitment to the development of the maritime industry through promotion of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business initiative and expansion of infrastructure.
She maintained that these are key ingredients to national progress and sustainable development of the country.
Her words: “NIMASA is a regulatory agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating shipping business in the maritime industry, creating enabling environment to simplify taxes on businesses to attract foreign direct investment, and revenue generation”.
The CITN President also spoke on the strategic economic importance of marine tourism and water transportation and called for deliberate measures to develop them.
“As a regulatory body, it is your duty to regulate this tourism aspect of Nigeria, encourage indigenous shipping, and financially empower Nigerians to develop their cargo businesses, which automatically enable our local and foreign exports through ships. NIMASA can bring water tourism into focus in Nigeria and this is my charge to NIMASA,” she added.
According to her, NIMASA had been instrumental in the fight against piracy and other maritime crimes, stating that the partnership with the Nigerian Navy will go a long way in safeguarding the country’s maritime environment.
She called for equal treatment of operators in the industry and tax concessions to shipping companies, especially on account of the adverse effect of COVID-19.
Dignitaries that graced the occasion included the governors of Lagos, Kaduna, and Gombe States, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, and Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya respectively.
The conference centred on the broader role of taxation as an essential tool for economic growth and competitiveness, with submissions on policy, legal and administrative prescriptions for various stakeholders.