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FG to facilitate use of mobile phones for cash transfer

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The Federal Government is set to facilitate the use of mobile phones of Nigerians in the transfer of the 15 million households’ conditional cash transfer program.

This was disclosed in the “quick win” recommendations submitted to the President by the Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee chaired by Taiwo Oyedele.

Recall last week that the Presidency unveiled the plan to distribute N75,000 cash transfer to 15 million households as part of its efforts to ameliorate the effect of the removal of subsidy.

The president made this announcement in Abuja, stating that the objective is to lift as many families as possible out of poverty.

Subsequently, the Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, led by Taiwo Oyedele, has recommended that the government engage in the use of citizens’ mobile phones to validate and ease the transfer of funds.

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While it is not explicitly stipulated how this process will be accomplished, the report states that a national portal will also be designed to track spending by the federal, state, and local governments.

“The key recommendations include but are not limited to facilitating the use of mobile phones for conditional cash transfers and introducing a spending framework for subsidy removal and forex reform windfall, including a national portal to track spending by FG, states, and local governments.”

In addition, the federal government is said to suspend multiple taxation, particularly in the informal sector, impeding the growth of small businesses in the country.

“Suspension of multiple taxes which place burdens on the poor and small businesses and compensate with windfall revenue of certain agencies. Increase personal income tax exempt threshold and personal relief allowance,” the statement reads in part.

Subsequently, the President has ordered that the “quick win” recommendations be immediately implemented across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government.

In a press release issued after meeting the committee, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, conveyed that the President had instructed his Adviser on Policy Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman, to coordinate with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Oyedele to implement the directive.

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He emphasized the importance of a seamless and synchronized implementation process by instructing that the recommendations be fully incorporated across government institutions.

Furthermore, he revealed that the President committed to prioritizing the presentation of these recommendations during the next Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting scheduled for the upcoming Monday.

“After listening to a presentation by the committee chairman, the President directed the Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman, to liaise with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chairman of the Tax Policy Review Committee to ensure that the recommendations of the committee are swiftly and immediately implemented across all ministries, departments, and agencies of the federal government to ensure that there is effective synergy and to ensure that every institution of the federal government is on the same page concerning how tax policy will be implemented.

“Henceforth, His Excellency Mr. President has also made available an opportunity for the recommendations of the tax policy review committee to be made a top priority at the next sitting of the Federal Executive Council meeting on Monday. Mr. The President will continue to emphasize the importance of ensuring that our tax authorities are not taxing the seed but are taxing the fruit, and that will continue to be the focus.” he said.

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