By Simon Akoje
Lagos, Nov. 2, 2020 A Tax Consultant, Dr McAnthony Dike, has urged the Federal Government to strengthen its diversification drive of the economy in order to rely less on oil revenue.
Dike, who is a former President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigerian in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to him, diversifying more into the agriculture and domestic manufacturing sectors can be one of the highest sources of revenue for the government within a short time.
“Our country would not have been in a revenue challenge if previous administrations had planned adequately.
“We were not saving enough from oil earnings when the prices were quite appreciable over the years.
“Now government revenue has been dropping, caused by decline in the price of oil in the international market and aggravated by COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he told NAN.
He said that government must also explore more empirical methods in the collection of taxes so as to generate more revenue for the country.
He also emphasised the need for all tiers of government in the country to cut down on the cost of governance.
“This is as reducing the cost of governance is imperative for government to meet its statutory obligations to the people.
“ The high cost of governance reforms ought to be top bottom and not the other way round,” Dike said.
Naija247news reports that the World Bank anticipates that demand for oil will remain below pre-pandemic levels beyond 2021.
This is according to the World Bank’s semi-annual Commodity Markets Outlook report.
In a statement credited to the multi-lateral body, it tried to juxtapose the performance of energy commodities with agriculture and metal commodities.
However, energy price, in spite of some decent recovery, remained well below pre-pandemic levels and is expected to stabilise below pre-pandemic levels in 2021.