Revenue mobilisation is critical to the success of Nigeria’s economic reform agenda, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, in meeting with fellow finance ministers at a meeting convened by the G24 Group, to discuss strategies to drive non-oil revenue growth and achieve inclusive growth.
Nigeria has 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 6%, 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. Our data gathering programme over the last year has now given us the tools we need to be more aggressive at pursuing tax avoiders, both domestically and abroad.
“Just like some of our contemporaries in the G24 have done successfully, we are going to focus on tax in 2017 through an asset an income declaration scheme to address our low tax revenue collection and ensure improved compliance, a broader tax base and more sustainable revenue. This is fundamental to delivering on our reform plans.”
Speaking at the G24, Adeosun also highlighted the need for strong budget implementation and transparency to create trust and accountability in government.
According to her, “While we focus on raising revenue’s and bringing people into the tax system, we must be equally aggressive in our approach to budget implementation and transparency. Our people must know where their hard earned tax contributions are being spent and the impact that they are having on national development, and the daily lives of citizens. This will be a core focus for us.”
The Minister also met with the ratings agencies Moody’s and Fitch, to update them on progress towards economic reform objectives, as well as the World Bank Country team to discuss the status of on-going projects in Nigeria, and planned projects for 2018.
The Minister will be attending meetings on closing the financing gap for water, affordable housing, food security, and nutrition over the coming days as part of the government’s focus on sustainable solutions to some of Nigeria’s most pressing social challenges.
She said: “While the infrastructure that we build to facilitate power and transportation is vital to our economic growth, we are equally focused on addressing the challenges we face to deliver services to our people. Water quality and nutrition are fundamental to quality of life, but also deliver economic benefits. We must do more to improve living standards for our people and so addressing food security, water and nutrition are central to our reform agenda. This isn’t just about economics, these are the basic responsibilities of government, we need to redouble our efforts and show people that their tax revenue can deliver real change in their daily lives.”