Over 100 Million Nigerians Pay No Tax Amid Government Deplores Low Tax Revenues Compared to Other Countries Legit.ng

  • Nigeria could face fiscal crisis if it does not improve its ability to collect taxes, FIRS warned
  • Government oil revenues have fallen in recent years, making non-oil revenues even more essential
  • However, many Nigerians are still reluctant to pay taxes due to fears that the money collected could be misappropriated.

Muhammad Nami, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), lamented that barely 41 million Nigerians pay taxes in the country.

Nami revealed during the public presentation and the 2022 budget breakdown in Abuja, he also shared that Nigeria earns less than most African countries on Personal Income Tax (PIT) although ‘it is home to the richest and richest on the continent.

The FIRS boss said:

“When you compare Nigeria’s tax level to that of South Africa, which has a total population of around 60 million people but only 4 million taxpayers, the total IRP paid in South Africa last year was about 13 trillion naira.

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The number of billionaires in Lagos alone exceeds the total number of billionaires in South Africa, but the amount of PIT generated from Lagos was very small “

Many Nigerians do not pay tax
A crowded street in the business district of Lagos Credit: peeterv
Source: Getty Images

Naimi added:

“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.

It is sad that people are not willing to pay even when they are appointed as debt collectors, whatever they have collected they find it hard to hand over. He also lamented that many Nigerians are unwilling to pay their taxes because they see Nigeria as a wealthy country.

“I don’t think that many Nigerians’ opinion of the country is correct. We only have the potential to be rich because we have a very large population of around 200 million.

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“In Saudi Arabia, another oil-rich country with a population of 10 million, the VAT rate reaches 15 percent, but here in Nigeria is only 7.5 percent. I think Nigerians should start to really see paying taxes as a duty of their country. “

Also lending her voice, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zainab Ahmed, called on citizens to always pay their taxes.

She said,

Tax money will go a long way in providing social amenities, among other things. The government remains aware of the need to provide safety nets to cushion the impact of reform measures on vulnerable segments of the population.

VAT litigation: Court delivers verdict on important claim made by Lagos

Meanwhile, the legal battle between FIRS and state governments continued to generate more backlash in the country.

Recently, the appeals court decided to rule on the matter by granting the Lagos State government the request to join the action.

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The FIRS had filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal to challenge the collection of value added tax by the States.

Source: Legit.ng

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