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Only 20% of 70m taxable adults in Nigeria pay tax –Adeosun

Only 20% of 70m taxable adults in Nigeria pay tax –Adeosun
Written by Editor

“Only about 14 million active tax payers (20 per cent) of an estimated 70 million economically active corporate bodies and individuals pay tax annually in Nigeria.

“Out of that number, majority are Pay As You Earn,(PAYE ), who pay amidst widespread malpractice resulting in having only half of the actual income being subjected to tax.”

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this on Friday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE and Bloomberg CEO Roundtable Session in Lagos.

She said there is documented evidence that in the entire nation, only 214 people pay tax of over N20 million and they are all in Lagos State.

Adeosun sounded it clear that, if the country were to witness real growth, it must address the tax revenue generation issues and do so aggressively even if it would mean stepping on big toes.

On the solution to poor infrastructure base in Nigeria, the Minister said the Federal Government had spent over N1.2 trillion on capital projects in the past 12 months .

This is aimed at reducing the complaints of both foreign and local investors on how poor infrastructure is discouraging their interest in Nigeria.

To that effect, government is said to have pledged to continue to prioritise infrastructure spending until there is noticeable improvement.

Read also: Worries as Nigeria is absent from Int’l list of liquified gas suppliers

On road spending she said N200 billion was spent in 2016, which compares to N19 billion in 2015 while transport and aviation received N143 billion compared to N6 billion in 2015.

“We intend to revive Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria and trying to revive existing and failed PPP projects.

“Though Nigeria’s private sector is efficient, creative and resilient, it needs predictability in policy, hence our(government) resolve to sustain introduction of new assets clause of guaranteed instruments that will provide adequate safeguard for the protection of private capital, she told her audience.

Adeosun who admitted that 2015 snd 2016 posed a rough time for the country, added, that “but the worst is over and we have an opportunity to make sure we don’t go back to where we are coming from the way we did in the past.

“Oil is only 10 per cent of our economy, but it represents up to 60 per cent of our revenue which is why when the price of oil fell, we had a double impact. We lost revenue and government found it difficult to really meet its needs. ”

She disclosed that the Federal Government had already signed Global Convention on base erosion and profit shifting Act, which do not allow companies that generate profit in Nigeria to evade taxes by shifting their profit to countries or jurisdiction where little or no tax is payable.

Lamenting on the fact that many Nigerians do not pay tax as expected, Adeosun said that revenue mobilization is key to the success of the country’s economic reform agenda.

She stated further: “To do this, we must amend Nigeria’s low level of tax compliance. Our tax to Gross Domestic Product, GDP of 6 per cent suggest widespread ignorance of our tax laws.”

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Editor

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and its leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.

  • JOHNSON PETER

    Do you want people to pay tax when they are not okay with that the little they earn. The tax money doesn’t benefit everyone except for the rich and powerful in the country. Me won’t pay tax until I become a senator.

    • Balarabe musa

      A good Nigerian and honest one will always pay tax at all cost. We are all benefiting from what the government is using our tax money to do not just the rich alone. Pay tax

      • seyi jelili

        Aboki, what’s the benefits we are enjoying from the government with our tax money. Just forget that but we shall do the needful because tax money is making some richer and some poorer

  • Anita Kingsley

    Infact Lagos state should receive an award for having good citizens who are paying tax in Nigeria. Why will poor people pay tax? To become poorer?

  • Animashaun Ayodeji

    Majority won’t pay tax no matter how hard the government tries. This country is too corrupt, if we pay tax, it will still not get to the government, people who will embezzle our taxes are already waiting. So no point paying tax abeg, make all of us they look

  • Abeni Adebisi

    The problem is that most people don’t know how important it is to be paying tax, it will help the government generate more money to provide social amenities that will make life easier for all. Paying of taxes should be encouraged and supervised thoroughly.

    • seyi jelili

      Are you paying yours because you have to practice what you preach