TAX INCENTIVES; CATALYST FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The year 1926 was a year of depression-slack in overall economic activities in Britain which led to decline of the total earnings of the economies, shortage of fund in the private sector and reduction in income per capita in Britain. It was at this juncture that the economic world formulated various fiscal policies. The main and prime objective of these policies was to revive, rehabilitate and mobilize enough capital to provide for economic and social expenses and to raise the crunched standard of living of citizens. It was this period that the term, Fiscal Policy called TAXATION came into existence. The direct taxation in its reformed pattern was introduced in Nigeria in 1904 by Lord Lugard, the then British High commissioner for Northern Nigeria with the issue of the land revenue proclamation for Northern Nigeria. In other words, income tax was introduced into Nigeria in 1904 and that was when community tax became very operative in Northern Nigeria.
It is important to realize that the present tax laws in Nigeria were developed or formulated from the Raisman’s commission of enquiry of 1957. Before now, there were the income tax ordinances for colonies and which was rather common in all the colonies and the provisions were similar. Raisman’s recommendation was the basis for providing in section 70; subsection 1 of the Nigerian constitution Order in council of 1960 which conferred an exclusive power on parliament to make for Nigeria or any part thereof with respect to personal income tax. In exercise of these powers, the Federal Government enacted the Income Tax management Act, 1961 (ITMA) on April 1. But before ITMA, Lagos territory was being administered as a region and the personal income tax (Lagos) Act, 1961 was enacted for it separately. But when ITMA ’61 came into operation, all the other regional laws on taxation were amended to bring them into conformity with federal law. As previously mentioned, the earliest trace of any form of direct taxation in Nigeria according to Ezejelue (1981:33) even before the British administration “was in Northern Nigeria” it was relatively easy to introduce the reformed system in the North because the tax-paying tradition had already been established there. Unlike the South, the North had a form of organized central administration under the Emirs.