The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has said that there are many values to leverage the digitalisation programme of the Federal Government to enhance the efficiency of taxation and boost internally generated revenue (IGR) in the country.
Speaking at the panel session of the 22nd Annual Technical Conference of the Commonwealth of the Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) organised by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Abuja, Abdullahi noted that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, which NITDA serves as one of its parastatals, has put a regulatory framework in place to check anomalies in the process of payment of tax to ensure transparency and accountability as well as build the confidence of taxpayers in the system.
According to him, the digital literacy and skills programme being run by the agency will help in ensuring that Nigerians are digitally literate and can use digital platforms to access government services.
He added that the programme will be achieved through the agency’s ambitious target of achieving 95 per cent digital literacy coverage of Nigerians by the year 2030 through steady digital capacity-building and empowerment of citizens.
“People, process and technology are critical components of Nigeria’s digitalisation programme whose potentials must be harnessed and channelled to the path for sustainable progress of the nation,” he noted.
Abdullahi said the issue of taxation is tied to data, security of taxpayers, their information and confidentiality and NITDA is working to come up with strategies for citizens’ data protection.
He added that the Federal Government has established the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) to ensure data security of Nigerians.
“Digitalisation of the tax system will help Nigeria achieve five things; safeguard the privacy of taxpayers, enhance performance competition, improve accountability, reform governance and entrench democracy.
“Statistics show that cyber security costs the World seven trillion dollars and is projected to reach ten trillion dollars by 2025. Though it is an expensive project effective and functional cyber security will turn around the fortunes of the country for the better,” he noted.
Also, the NITDA boss assured the participants of NITDA’s resolve to work assiduously through the instrument of law that gave it the mandate to improve the functionality of technology components that will enhance taxation processes in the country.
“Leveraging the digital development potentials of artificial intelligence, blockchain among other areas will accelerate the processes of strengthening the Nigeria digital economic project,” he added.