The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it will focus on taxes in 2017 and ensure it is introduced on luxury items, tobacco and alcohol.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who decried Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio, which she put at six per cent and one of the lowest in the world, added that with such a ratio, the country has a lot of work to do if it is going to build a sustainable revenue base that will deliver inclusive growth.
This was contained in a statement released by the director of information in the Ministry of Finance, Salisu Dambatta, quoting the minister as saying this during a presentation on Monday at The Platform in Lagos.
The minister further said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is committed to building a productive Nigerian economy for a sustainable and all-encompassing economic growth.
“While oil proceeds have represented between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of the Federal Government revenue over the past three years, it has contributed 10 per cent or less to the Gross Domestic Product in the same period.
“We must change our growth model to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth by broadening the range of our economic activities in the production and distribution of goods and services.
“We have an unacceptably low level of non-oil revenue and much of that is driven by a failure to collect tax revenues. With a tax to GDP ratio of only six per cent, one of the lowest levels in the world, we have a lot of work to do if we are going to build a sustainable revenue base that will deliver inclusive growth, she said.
Disclosing that government was going to improve tax revenue through ensuring voluntary compliance with tax laws she said, “We are going to focus on tax in 2017. We will improve our tax to GDP ratio, block leakages and increase compliance. We will also introduce taxes on luxury items and excise duties on tobacco and alcohol.”