Nami advocates accurate tax-to-GDP ratio computation


The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami has said that in order to accurately determine Nigeria’s tax-to-GDP ratio, all revenue generated at the national and sub-national levels must be properly computed. 

Nami stated this in his welcome remarks at the “National Symposium On Taxation And Challenges Of External Shocks: Lessons and Policy Options for Nigeria,” which held Monday in Abuja. 

“One of the recurring issues in national discourse has been Nigeria’s low tax-to-GDP ratio. 

“In as much as the country needs to continually and conscientiously put measures in place to improve such a concern, there is also the need to comprehensively bring all the national and sub-national revenue sources into consideration to properly and appropriately determine the correct and meaningful tax-to-GDP ratio for the country. 

“The current basis for its computation, which mostly focuses on the taxes administered at the federal level and leaving out other sources of revenue being generated by the Federal, States and Local governments and their MDAs, does not truly reflect its correct standing,” he stated.

Continuing, Nami noted that in order to give the correct state of government revenue and ensure that all government revenue is included in the fiscal accounts and annual statistics, the FIRS will through the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, ensure that all government revenue is included in the accounting for taxes generated, including amounts invested by taxpayers in the country’s road infrastructure as a result of Executive Order 007, tax waivers granted to pioneer companies, import and exercise duties waived through the operations of the Nigeria Customs and all other revenues generated by MDAs on behalf of the Federal, State and Local governments in Nigeria. 

He further highlighted that the above measures, when implemented, will align Nigeria with global best practices in reporting public finance and will ensure a more transparent and more accurate picture of the country’s Tax-to-GDP ratio.

Earlier in his remarks, the FIRS Executive Chairman stated the importance of the symposium against the continued challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, where new strands of the virus have been discovered and are posing threats to business and commercial activities worldwide.

“It will also review the challenges of the informal sector which constitutes about 70% of businesses in Nigeria and the reform options available to bring them into the tax net.”