VDI: President Tinubu Backed Initiative Reinforces Pivotal Roles Of Nigeria’s Informal Sector In Abuja
With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimating that the Nigerian Informal Sector (IS) made up about 65% of the country’s 2017 GDP, the sector is an essential part of the country’s economy.
To this end, the pivotal roles of the sector in the economic development aimed at creating access to employment opportunities, stimulating income generation and fostering entrepreneurial spirit have again been undeniably reinforced in Abuja during a recent two-day National Executive Council meeting of the Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) with some critical strategic resolutions taken.
The promoter and proponent of National Vat Direct Initiative (VDI), Hon Johnson Moses Olakunle, who doubles as the National Secretary of MATAN and Chairman Steering Committee of the (VDI) used the 2024 maiden meeting which came barely one month after it’s National Conference and World Media briefing in Abuja, to thank the National Executive Council members and the steering committe members drawn from the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He noted that the meeting, which according to him, was well attended marking the beginning of its formal take off of advocacy, sensitization, implementation of programmes as he urged each state representatives to commence work and ensure that rules of engagement were applied.
Hon. Olakunle thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for supporting the initiative which according to him will mitigate poverty, strengthen the efforts of Nigerian traders and critical informal sector of the economy by creating effective and efficient interaction on issues affecting their well-being and providing solutions like curbing multiple tax regime, unifying and codifying an ICT user-friendly system for ensuring an integrated tax system with improved database that will take proper care of numerous concerns of traders, marketers, distributors and haulage operators.
In doing this according to Hon Johnson, “it is hoped that the Executive Order 5 of the Federal Government which contemplates Ease of Doing Business will bring back maximum confidence in Government- Private Sector Business Relations and cascade down to the businesses of the rural population”.
Hon Johnson further noted that Attendees to the meeting who are majorly the state representatives, members of the steering committe, Zonal coordinators and Exco’s will resume operations in all the states with immediate effect noting that the implementation of the programme which in him words comes with several packages will further cater for the millions of the informal sector amongst which includes but not limited to access to single digit Loan, access to grant, health insurance, promotion of export of goods and services, and other value proposition.
Hon Johnson regretted the unfair manner in which the issues of multiple taxation has drastically affected the defenseless traders and call for total support of both the government and the general public to achieve an inclusive national solidarity towards Nigeria’s growth.
MATAN is a multi stakeholders umbrella body of the informal sectors socio-economic space and has been saddled with the responsibility of administration and management of affairs of the biggest informal sector cluster, over the years with over 40 million documented membership across all the 774and Area Councils in Nigeria.
Amongst some of its notable partners include the FIRS, JTB, Banks, Insurance companies, ALGON and other private sectors of the economy.
The Street Reporters Newspaper recalls that the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its report titled “Nigeria Labour Force Survey” stated that 92.6 per cent of individuals employed in Nigeria were involved in informal sector in the first quarter of 2023.
The report further stated that 89.4 per cent of employed individuals were engaged in informal sector when excluding agriculture.