Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has disclosed that current efforts by the state government to improve fiscal efficiency in the state were already achieving desired results with the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) rising to N22 billion last year.
The amount showed an increase of about N8 billion over the total collections in the previous year.
Giving this hint at the sensitization programme on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) hosted by the State Government in Enugu, the governor restated the commitment of his administration to continuously improve the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
This is even as he commended the Federal Government for its “resourcefulness and dynamism” in the establishment of VAIDS.
While urging tax payers to take advantage of the VAIDS to regularise their tax liabilities, the governor appealed to the President and the Minister to prevail on federal agencies in Enugu State to pay their taxes.
Speaking at the forum, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed that about 56 million Nigerians who engage in one business or the other were not paying their taxes as required by law.
Specifically, the Minister, who noted that Nigeria had a poor scorecard in tax payment, lamented that out of the 70 million economically active people in the country, only 14 million are tax compliant.
She explained: “Payment of taxes is a fundamental requirement for our growth story. Nigeria has a very poor scorecard in tax payment. When oil came, we abandoned the old systems of tax collection that provided most of our infrastructure since colonial days.
“Currently, we have just 14 million tax payers out of 70 million who are economically active. So, many people who should be paying are not paying anything. It is the development of taxes that will help the States and the Federal Government to achieve their true potentials.
This is even as she declared that regular payment of taxes remained crucial to current efforts by government to achieve sustainable development of the country.
Specifically, the minister pointed out that predictable tax revenue inflow would lead to more investment by the federal and state governments in infrastructure and job and wealth creation nationwide.
While pointing out that payment of taxes had become imperative to avoid the negative impact of the recent collapse in oil prices on the economy, Adeosun assured that the government would avoid the boom and bust cycles by aligning with nations that have predictable revenues in order to ensure progressive improvements in the quality of life for the citizens.