Nigeria grows tax base to 19m
by Bill Okonedo
May 10, 2018 | 7:14 pm| | | Start Conversation
…World Bank urges synergy between government and private sector
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
Nigeria has aggressively grown its tax payers’ base to 19 million,
being an addition of five million tax payers into the system in just two years, even though many still remain outside the tax net.
Disclosing this on Thursday in Abuja, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, told a World Bank Mission, comprising ten executive directors that the Federal Government would mobilise more revenues to drive its growth plan for the economy.
“We have been able to grow the tax payers’ base to 19 million in two years, from the 65 million economically active people who are not tax complaint,” she told the delegation led by Patrizio Pagano.
The minister assured that Nigeria will not be complacent on account of rising crude oil prices and according to her, the government’s priority is now to accelerate the current fragile growth rate.
“We are optimistic and vigilant. We are not getting complacent on oil revenue. It is not the volume of money that comes in from oil but how well it is used for the good of the people,” she said.
“As a government, we take the view that growth is very important and our priority was first to get to growth and then to accelerate it by creating jobs through improved spending on fiscal infrastructure.
She also told the delegation that growth will be stronger in 2019 than the present level in 2018. “We are optimistic in sustaining Nigeria’s economic growth. That is why we are driving the mobilisation of more revenues,” the minister added.
She listed another priority area for the Buhari-led administration as the Ease of Doing Business, which she said would significantly increase economic activities in the country and bring about improvement in the quality of life of the people.
“The Nigerian Government is working towards accelerating the country’s growth level. The growth will be underpinned by stimulating the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Nigeria and improving our capital expenditure which we have done in the last two years.
“Nigerians should trust the Government to deliver on its promises of improving the economy and providing sustainable infrastructure development. We are very optimistic but we will remain vigilant,” Adeosun said.
The Leader of the World Bank Mission to Nigeria, Patrizio Pagano, explained that the team was in the country to acquaint itself with the Government’s growth and power priorities.
The World Bank officials had earlier met with the organised private sector in Lagos and undertaken a tour of LAPO Microfinance project in Lagos.
Pagano stressed the need for synergy between the government and the private sector, as according to him, the administration needed the private sector to achieve the nation’s development plans, especially considering the vibrant nature of Nigerian enterprises.
“We have met with several Nigerian entrepreneurs and have seen how vibrant the private sector is. We want to understand how the power sector is evolving in Nigeria,” Pagano said.
The ten World Bank’s executive directors, representing 96 countries, are expected to inspect the Azura Power Plant in Edo State in the course of their three-day visit to Nigeria.
The visit is expected to provide a first-hand impression of the
challenges that both the Federal and State Governments face in
implementing development projects as well as ensuring good governance overall.
The team is particularly discussing on-going World Bank projects with both federal and state officials, with a view to working on how to maximize the benefits of its projects in Nigeria.
It will further enhance the goal of the Bank for member-countries and the effectiveness of the Executive Directors in providing the necessary support.
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