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Nigeria’s VAT collection efficiency lowest in Africa — Abbas

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, Ph.D, has decried that Nigeria’s efficiency in collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) “is the…

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, Ph.D, has decried that Nigeria’s efficiency in collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) “is the lowest among its African peers, indicating significant inefficiencies in its tax system.”

Speaker of the house, Abbas Tajuddeen, and his Deputy, Benjamin Kalu, stated this in separate remarks at a two-day retreat for the members of the house held on Tuesday.

The legislative retreat on economic transformation and  development was organised by the House in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation (KAS). 

The speaker expressed the readiness of the 10th House to aid the economic policies and programmes of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration.

He lamented that despite various reforms in its oil and non-oil sectors of its economy Nigeria is still grappling with revenue generation issues.

In his address, Abbas said, “Nigeria’s general government revenue recorded at 7.3 per cent of GDP is significantly lower than the average revenue of countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and roughly a third of that in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

 “This places Nigeria at 191st out of 193 countries globally. Our fiscal revenue has declined, predominantly due to decreasing oil revenue over the last ten years, while non-oil revenue has remained stagnant at about four to five per cent of GDP.”

On his part, Kalu emphasised the importance of tax reforms and revenue enhancement.

He said, “Nigeria’s current tax system suffers from inefficiencies, leading to some of the lowest tax collection rates in the world – around 10.8 per cent of GDP, according to data from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In his opening address, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said his administration was implementing significant policy changes to reform how Nigeria was governed to position the country for progress and shared prosperity for all citizens.

Tinubu, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the reforms being undertaken were necessary and, in some cases, long overdue, but that they were not without their challenges. 

 

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