Oscarline Onwuemenyi 11 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, says Nigeria’s tax compliance rate at six percent was low, compared with that of most developed nations at 30-32 percent.
“Prosperous nations have high levels of tax compliance whilst poor nations have low rates. Nigeria aspires to be a prosperous nation, so this problem must be solved,” she stated as she announced government’s plan to massively deploy technology and rely heavily on it henceforth in the pursuit of increased tax compliance and expansion of revenue base.
Adeosun, who made the announcement in a monitored programme on television, vowed that the country would engage in several strategies to ensure that elites and other eligible taxpayers with assets in and out of the country do their civic duty.
According to her, government had already deployed data on mining to compile list of thousands of taxpayers, which showed that the level of non-compliance and tax evasion is huge.
Citing Bank Verification Number, land registry and other sources within Nigeria, as well as data from foreign governments, she also listed the work of an international asset-tracing firm as a source of overseas data.
“Technology has been key in enabling us to build an accurate financial profile for Nigerians and based on the information we gathered, we saw that the level of non-compliance was very high and we knew we had to do something about it. In the past, tracking true income and assets would have been difficult but now, it is at the touch of a button,” she said.
The minister’s declaration came on the heels of three related events having to do with legal framework, voluntary asset declaration and invitation from a group of international asset tracers to Nigeria, which ran simultaneously.