The Federal Government has announced it’s plan to increase the nation’s revenue to GDP ratio to 15 percent in the medium term through it’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI).
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance disclosed this while speaking at the inauguration of the Federal Inland Revenue Service board on Thursday, stressing that the strategic revenue growth initiative of the government, articulates plans to improve domestic growth revenue mobilization under the ministry mandate for revenue mobilization.
“Under this initiative our strategy id to focus on enhancing the revenue growth to gdp ratio, currently, Nigeria revenue to gdp ratio has lagged behind in comparison to other conountries, this has signinificantly undermine the governmnets ability to fund critical expenditure without undue reliance on volatile oil revenue and excessive deficit”.
“On this regard we are commiteed to achieving a 15 percent revenue to gdp ratio over the medium term , this is far from 6 to 8 percent which we have averaged over the last few years”, she said.
The minister also explained that the initiative aims to optimize technology as a tool to enhance revenue outcome, adding that with acceleration of key automation project by FIRS there should be increase in tax payer base over time.
“The collaboration of the joint tax board and the state inland revenue has moved the tax payers in Nigeria from 10 million to 25 million in 2018 we expect the the project once fully implemented to increase the tax payer base to 45 million over the medium term horizon”.
The minster further said that driving the tax reform agenda remains critical for the government adding that the finance act aim to achieve incremental but necessary changes of fiscal laws by promoting fiscal equity, domestic tax law to conform to global bets practice as well as introduce incentives for investment in infrastructure.
“The finance bill seek to support macro, small and medium scale businesses in line with the ease of doing business reform, raising revenue for government which is the major reason the VAT raise from 5 perent to 7.5 percent”.
“The finance bill is a landmark achievement under the SRGI, it is the first reform of the Nigeria tax law over a decade and we must thank the national assembly for making this a reality.
” With this bill, we are transitioning into a tax system that is more fairer, modern, simplier and strategic in its approach to close tax loop holes”, she said.
The Chairman of the board, Muhammad Nami, in his remark said that his administration in efforts to reposition the Service for better service delivery to all taxpayers would be anchored on four cardinal pillars, which include rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework, ensuring robust collaboration with stakeholders, building a customer centric institutions and data-centric institutions.
“The FIRS is not an Island. We operate in the Nigerian economy. Our success is hinged on the contributions of
other key actors in the Nigerian nation. We will therefore endeavor to foster genuine collaboration between FIRS and key stakeholders in the Nigerian Tax
System and economy, in order to provide a unified view of our services through
proper planning, this will eliminate critical bottlenecks”.
Nami speaking further said efforts will aslo be targeted towards building the Service into an institution that supports Nigeria’s longing to become an investment
destination by moving up further on the global Ease of Doing business ladder by focusing on efficient service delivery to taxpayers and providing
a positive customer experience on all tax compliant processes.
We must not forget the Service component of our name: Federal Inland Revenue SERVICE. We exist to provide SERVICE to taxpayers and if we don’t do our work professionally, with integrity, on time, efficiently, we would miss the service essence of our name”, he said.