Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said the federal Government would be employing modern Technology in harvesting taxes from Nigeria’s largely untaxed informal economy, as he raised concern that the country’s Tax ration to Gross Domestic Product is still very low.
Osinbajo who spoke at the ‘African Tax Administration forum’ held in Abuja on Tuesday said that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is keen on ensuring proper accountability and transparency in governance process through proper tax reforms and while also delivering the dividends of democracy.
Osibanjo also pointed out that African government has lost up to $1 trillion in the past 50 years ,according to Thabo Mbeki’s report on illicit Financial flows(IFFs),as the head of African Union’s 10-member High-level Panel of IFFs,noting that such illicit flows could not have happened if there are proper financial tracking channels.
The Vice President said that most of the illicit flows are largely a collaboration between high profile companies and their local collaborators who largely disguise under the largely untaxed informal sector.
He said the government is also employing certain strategies in ensuring it addresses low tax to GDP ration using the voluntary assets and icome declaration scheme(VAIDS) which has been launched by the federal government to encourage voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income for the puropose of payment of all outstanding tax liabilities.
In her earlier remarks,Kemi Adeosun,Nigeria’s Minister of Finance said there is a link between Taxation and prosperity,noting that countries who do well in taxation has appreciable level of development.
She pointed out that the government is building confidence on tax paying, while urging the conveners of the conference to ensure they come up with impementable points that would ensure Africa grows it’s economy through proper taxation.
Also,Babatunde Fowler,the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service,FIRS said the agency has employed numerous technological techniques in ensuring better tracking of taxes in the country.
He said the agency would work closely in developing partnership strategies working with other African countries to boost Nigeria’s Tax to GDP ration.
HARRISON EDEH, ABUJA