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How Smart Taxation Can Improve Innovation

In introducing a new piece today, I wrote thus:

[NB: Bear with me as there is no African case here. It is not really my fault. The fact is that great African thinkers remain largely undocumented. On Friday, I visited the book seller across NNPC Towers (Abuja) and checked all the books he was selling, 99% were on/by foreign businessmen, authors and leaders. Unless we write, this challenge would remain]

In my typical way, I have proposed that Nigeria could use smart taxation to unlock funding in our school system. If you are rich in America, donating money to schools could make you whole. In other words, there are many cases where donating to charity would save you money as a business/person.

Nigeria sees donations as expenses in our books. In U.S., it is deductible and tax-exempt. That incentivizes  the Americans to give more.

Yes, the Nigerian tax system is not designed to support philanthropy. That is why we do not have a vibrant one. It does not mean that a nation must be rich first before its tax system can be engineered to stimulate philanthropy. Until then, our schools cannot even document our societies.

If we have better smart policy, we could have resources to document our innovation systems. Today, we know nothing of the past and the present because no one is taking note.

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Bernard Nwadike