October 10 (THEWILL) – The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) reports that only 41 million people pay taxes in Nigeria.
FIRS President Muhammad Nami revealed it to reporters during the public presentation and breakdown of the 2022 budget in Abuja on Friday.
Nami said that despite having 41 million taxpayers in Nigeria, the country still earns less than most African countries on Personal Income Tax (PIT).
He said: “If you also compare that with South Africa where they have a total population of around 60 million people, with only 4 million taxpayers, the total PIT paid in South Africa last year was of about 13 trillion naira. You can now see that these things do not add up.
“The number of billionaires in Lagos alone is greater than the number of billionaires in South Africa as a whole, but what we generated as a PIT in Lagos State was small.
“So if we don’t pay these taxes, the government will in no way be able to provide the social amenities and essential infrastructure necessary for the well-being of the country.
“People are not ready to pay even when they are appointed collectors, everything they have collected, they have a hard time handing it over.
“We assume we are a rich country, I don’t think that’s correct. We only have the potential to be rich, because we have a very large population of around 200 million people.
“If you look at it from the tax rate paid in Saudi Arabia with a population of 10 million, the VAT rate is 15% and what we have in Nigeria is only 7.5%.