In a country of about 180 million people, only 214 individuals pay their taxes, Federal government lamented on Thursday. It also regretted that many multinational companies evaded tax payments.
The government also expressed concerned over the growing rate and the effects of deforestation in the country even as it received briefings on the current security situation.
Revealing that Nigeria has the lowest non-oil tax to GDP at 6%, the government has however enacted a new tax policy which it hoped would block all the loopholes and generate at least $1 billion to government.
The new tax scheme which was approved by the National Executive Council, NEC, at its meeting held at the Presidential Villa and presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday was sequel to a presentation made by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler who was joined by Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu and the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Bala Bantex said that the new tax regime subsumed under Nigeria Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) would commence May 1.
He said: “Under payment of tax via the use of Tax Havens and other evasion strategies has not been helpful to Nigeria. This practice has been principally perpetrated by multinational companies and high net worth individuals.
Nigeria has the lowest non-oil tax to GDP at 6% “The proposed Nigeria Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) will capitalise on the considerable international goodwill built by President Buhari in his mission to rebuild Nigeria.