- Regular Tax Payment Fundamental to Growth, Says Adeosun
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday declared that regular payment of taxes by Nigerians was fundamental to the growth and development of the country.
Adeosun stated that predictable tax revenue inflow would lead to more investments in infrastructure and job and wealth creation across the nation by the federal and state governments.
She stated this in Enugu at a sensitisation programme on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme hosted by the Enugu State Government.
The programme was attended by the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Deputy Governor, Cecilia Ezeilo; Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi; Commissioner for Finance, Eucharia Offor; members of the State Executive Council and House of Assembly; and traditional rulers, among others.
Adeosun stated that Nigeria had a poor scorecard in tax payment, adding that only 14 million people were paying taxes out of about 70 million economically active people.
The minister said, “Payment of taxes is a fundamental requirement for our growth story. Nigeria has a very poor scorecard in tax payment. When oil came, we abandoned the old system of tax collection that provided most of our infrastructure since the colonial days.
“Currently, we have just 14 million taxpayers out of 70 million who are economically active. So, many people who should be paying are not paying anything. It is the development of taxes that will help the states and the Federal Government to achieve their true potential.”
She explained that the payment of taxes had become imperative in order to avoid the repeat of the recent experience of the collapse in oil prices and the resultant recession.
Adeosun gave an assurance that the Federal Government would avoid the boom and bust cycle by aligning with nations that had predictable revenues in order to ensure progressive improvements in the quality of life of the citizens.
She stated, “Indeed, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has completely transformed road expenditure. In 2015, the figure was N19bn for the whole nation; in 2016, we increased it to N220bn and we plan to do much more.”