Nigeria hikes tax to fund budget

Nigeria plans to raise around 25.1 billion dollars in taxes to fund its 30 billion dollar budget.

With revenue from oil falling off badly, the country is now turning its attention to taxes to keep government running.

While many have welcomed the move, financial analysts say the government must thread with caution on the issue of taxes.

Though the government is still exploring the possibility of borrowing to fund the budget, Babatunde Fowler and his team say they are confident they would meet the target of 25 billion dollars in tax revenue set for them by the government.

CCTV’s Deji Badmus reports

The government says its strategy of generating more revenue from taxation is not to raise taxes but expand the tax dragnet and bring in more taxable Nigerians and companies.
In a country where tax evasion is high, that would surely not be an easy task. This is a concern the government appears to be addressing. The Revenue service has set up a team to go round the country to educate and register tax payers and to also ensure payment is done with ease and convenience.

While the initiative is no doubt laudable and if achieved could cut down government borrowing significantly, financial analysts say the state of the economy at the moment could be the biggest drawback.

For a very a long time, successive governments in Nigeria did not take the issue of taxes seriously. But with the economy now being battered by low oil prices, this government is now changing all that.

It says it plans to drive the process forward to a level where future Nigerian government would no longer benchmark the country’s budget on the price of oil and would really not care even if  the commodity traded for as low as one dollar.