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We now have tools to aggressively pursue tax avoiders

Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance, says Nigeria now has the
right tools to aggresively pursue tax avoiders, in Nigeria and abroad.

Speaking
at the meeting with fellow finance ministers of the G-24 Group, Adeosun
said Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio is about the lowest in the world.
“Revenue
mobilisation is critical to the success of Nigeria’s economic reform
agenda. We have an unacceptably low level of non-oil revenue, and much
of that is driven by a failure to collect tax revenues,” Adeosun said.
“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
and 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.”

Adeosun at the G-24 meeting

Adeosun at the G-24 meeting

Adeosun
also told the ministers that there is a need for strong budget
implementation and transparency to create trust and accountability in
government.
“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.
“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.”

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