Innovative Proposal: Presidential Committee Suggests USSD and Other Methods for Tax Payment

Innovative Proposal: Presidential Committee Suggests USSD and Other Methods for Tax Payment

The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Taiwo Oyedele, has proposed the utilization of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and other digital platforms for tax and levy payments in Nigeria. Oyedele revealed this during an update on the Committee’s activities, emphasizing the need to simplify the existing tax system and digitize the collection process to enhance efficiency, reduce losses, and ensure accountability.

The USSD, a mobile communication protocol used for sending text messages, has been successfully integrated by banks for financial services. By employing USSD, taxpayers can directly interact using their mobile phones and select various options from menus.

Oyedele highlighted the extensive number of taxes, levies, and charges imposed across all levels of government in Nigeria, with states and local governments administering 46 of these, including road taxes, motor park levies, and fees applicable to trucks, canoes, wheelbarrows, and carts. Additionally, there are numerous unauthorized taxes disproportionately affecting small businesses, such as petty traders, hawkers, artisans, truckers, cart pushers, and okada riders.

The burden of these taxes ultimately falls on low-income earners, who also have to contend with untrained “revenue collectors” and unorthodox collection methods on highways, markets, and streets. Oyedele’s proposal aims to repeal many of these burdensome taxes, consolidate the justifiable ones, and implement a digital collection system utilizing multiple channels, including

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