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.