How Nigerian government can increase tax revenue
Nigerian Government’s effort to increase the tax revenue in the country will only be achieved if taxes can be harmonized and taxes received are judiciously used for the people’s well-being.
This was stated by panellists at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) during the launch of ‘Better Tax’ on Wednesday in Lagos.
BetterTax is evidence-based advocacy that NESG hopes will bring together the Nigerian government and citizens to make taxation work for Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
The Chairman, NESG Fiscal Policy Roundtable, Dr Sarah Alade, said Better Tax was distinct from previous tax reform initiatives because it adopted a multi-pronged approach to easing the tax burden.
A tax expert with PwC, Taiwo Oyedele, who is one of the panellists at the event, said there are needs for constitutional amendments to reduce the number of taxes imposed by each level of government to not more than 10.
He said Nigeria needs to solve the issue of tax harmonisation and multiple taxations in the system in other to improve taxation.
“Low tax compliance results from tax complexity, crisis of trust in the government and inadequate social contract deliverables; while tax officials were constrained by inconsistent tax policies, limited resources, unrealistic targets, and inability to influence service delivery, among others”.
He said that over 70% of Nigerians believe that “it is not wrong to pay taxes
A similar view was shared by Teju Somoorin. Somorin, the first female professor of taxation in Nigeria, decried multiple taxations in the system, which according to her, scares Nigerians away from paying tax.
In a survey by the NESG, about 59% of Nigerian adults evade tax.
She urged that the government to “reduce and harmonize taxes” toward boosting the country’s revenue and improving its global ranking on ease of paying tax.
Nigerians are willing to pay tax provided there are good social amenities,” she said.
Yemi Adamolekun, the Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), in her opinion said how the tax revenue are used goes a long way in encouraging citizens to pay their taxes.
“It is good governance before tax and not tax before good governance,” Adamolekun said.