Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the number of tax compliant Nigerians has increased by five million to stand at 19 million from the 14 million earlier recorded.
Speaking on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 2018 edition of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) conference, Osinbajo said Nigeria still has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the world as regards tax compliance.
“Earlier, I noted that as of May 2017, only 14 million economically active Nigerians pay taxes. I am pleased to note that the number is now in excess of 19 million and still growing.
“This means that efforts led by the Federal Inland Revenue Service in collaboration with many of the states inland revenue services have already added more than five million new tax payers to the tax base.
“But there is still a lot of work ahead of us; as Nigeria races to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of tax compliance we all have a role to play in this.”
He said there should not be an argument about paying taxes as compliance and good governance should exist side by side as the head and tail of a social contract that binds citizens and government.
He said poor tax management was one of the issues that increased corruption in the system because the tax payer is less tolerant of corruption than another who failed to pay.
Speaking further, Osinabjo said most states cannot survive without federal allocation.
“Without federal allocation, most states cannot survive; Lagos state alone takes in as much Internally Generated Revenue as 31 states combined; it tells you how little the other states manage to bring in in IGR.”
An analysis by TheCable in March showed that 34 states cannot pay salaries without federal allocation. (The Cable)