A 2018 KPMG CFO Outlook survey report has revealed that some of the issues Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in Nigeria are skeptical and apprehensive about are tax, regulatory and government policy.

The survey report, which was unveiled yesterday at the Interconnectal Hotel in Lagos, during KPMG CFO Forum, also noted that these critical concerns are closely followed by internal challenges such as margin enhancement, growth and cost optimization.

Speaking at the event, which had in attendance, Chief Financial Officers, Finance managers/controllers and Finance directors from businesses representing all sectors of the economy, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, the FIRS Executive Chairman, stated that, Nigeria faces a huge infrastructure deficit, as documented in the recently launched Nigeria Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP).

Fowler, who delivered a keynote address at the event, titled ‘Outlook for tax administration in Nigeria and opportunities for enhanced collaboration with the private sector’, added that Nigeria needs to invest USD3 trillion in infrastructure over the next 30 years. “Taxation will play a key role in the development process by providing the needed resources to fund government development projects and programs, as the Federal Government alone cannot provide these resources,” he noted.

Speaking on some of the advancements done by the institution, Fowler said, the FIRS has taken bold steps aimed at broadening its tax base and increasing tax collection, disclosing it was done in collaboration with other relevant government agencies.

The FIRS Executive Chairman’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the ‘Challenges & Effect of Tax administration in Nigeria’. The panel discussants were Mr. Ayodele Subair, Executive Chairman, Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), who was the Lead Discussant; Mrs. Yimika Adeboye, Finance &Strategy Director, Cadbury Nigeria Plc; and Wole Obayomi, Partner and Head, Tax Regulatory and People Services, KPMG in Nigeria.

Presenting the well anticipated 2018 KPMG CFO Outlook survey report, Tola Adeyemi, Partner and Head, Audit Services at KPMG in Nigeria explained that for the report; CFOs and Heads of Finance in leading organizations across all major sectors in Nigeria shared their opinions on the outlook for their businesses, their strategies for cost and risk management and the priorities for an enabling environment. The survey report also includes revelations around what CFOs believe that the Government should prioritize to create an enabling environment.

Sharing a fewhighlights of the survey, Mr. Adeyemi said that only 46% of the CFOs who were surveyed were optimistic about the prospects of growth in 2018 compared to 2017. He added that, “the overriding sentiment is that there is still a lot more that needs to be done to make this issue of ease of doing business a reality. Only 15% said government efforts to improve the ease of business were seen as effective, 45% of the CFOs were neutral and 40% said the efforts were ineffective”.


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