The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN has stressed the need for Nigeria to harness its tax revenue potential, insisting that the country’s Tax to GDP ratio is low compared to other African countries.
The President and Chairman in Council of the Institute, Chief Adesina Adebayo stated this at the 25t annual tax conference in held in Abuja on Tuesday.
Chief Adebayo said Taxation is the only hope given the current challenges bedeviling the nation.
‘’It is apparent that the Country has not effectively harnessed its tax revenue potential. It is also general knowledge that Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio is considered a serious cause for concern when compared to others within Africa. Although there are several arguments on the subject, the fact still remains that it is below the OECD average of 35.5%.’’, he explained.’’
He said the conference was to explore how to use taxation to attain sustainable development.
Speaking on the theme ‘’Nigeria of the future; achieving sustainable development through taxation’, Chief Adebayo said it was apt given the current economic climate.
‘’A simple analysis of the socio-economic environment of Nigeria will reveal that there is a fundamental gap between our developmental potential and current realities. In the midst of insufficient revenue from crude oil earnings, fluctuating value of the naira, rising debt burdens and increasing government expenditure, taxation has become the only hope of the nation,’’ he said.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed commended CITN for its contribution to national development and pledged her commitment to supporting the tax institution to achieve greater impact.
The Minister represented by the Director Tax Policy in the Ministry, Alhaji Bashir Abubakar said the theme was a clarion call to revolutionalize the economy for greater accomplishment.
The conference also marks the silver jubilee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria
Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu