Nigeria Denies Plans To Increase Taxes
Friday, February 17, 2017
Nigeria's Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has denied that
the Nigerian Government intends to raise taxes and will instead focus on compliance.
Responding to lawmakers' comments in the National Assembly, Udoma confirmed
that "there is no increase in value-added tax, there is no increase in
corporate income tax, there is no increase at all in taxes, but people who are
not paying taxes must be made to pay. So the idea is to increase revenue by
broadening the tax base, not by increasing taxes."
In August last year, the National Tax Policy Review Committee pointed out that
only 10m of Nigeria's total population of 180m pays tax and the country has
one of the lowest tax-to-gross domestic product ratios in the world at just
six percent. With the Government still largely dependent on revenues from oil,
which make up about 60 percent of overall revenues, the Committee urged the
development of measures to expand the tax base as a priority.
The Government is trying to extend the scope of corporate and personal income
taxes. As an example, since last year, Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service,
working in collaboration with the State Boards of Internal Revenue, has been
running a nationwide campaign to substantially increase the numbers of both
corporate and individual taxpayers.