Only 214 Super rich Nigerians pay income tax in excess of N20 million yearly. The others are tax dodgers.
The minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun tabled this sobering information before the National Economic Council and blamed the situation on why Nigeria posts one of the lowest tax per GDP ratio in the world.
Adeosun estimated the tax ratio to GDP for Nigeria at six percent.
Nigerian government however plans to change the narrative with a programme christened “Nigeria Voluntary Asset & Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).”
Government plans a roll out from May this year and will at the same time announce some incentives to encourage participation.
According to Adeosun, VAIDS will capitalise on the considerable international goodwill built by President Buhari in his mission to rebuild Nigeria.
"It will also capitalise on the current global movement against tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
"It will offer a window for those who have not complied with extant tax regulations to remedy their position by the provision of limited amnesty to enable voluntary declaration and payment of liabilities.
"The target of the VAIDS scheme is the increase of the country’s tax to GDP ratio to 15% from just 6% by 2020.
"VAIDS will simultaneously generate revenue and encourage investment and economic activity
"VAIDS will embrace all Federal and States’ taxes such as Companies Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Petroleum Profits Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duties, Tertiary Education Tax, & Technology Tax.”
The finance minister said revenue expected from the scheme has been conservatively estimated at US$1 billion.
"Based on initial estimates, it is anticipated that at least 50 per cent of the funds recovered will belong to States who are the ultimate collectors of personal income taxes”, she said.
The National Economic Council approved the scheme in principle, while additional inputs are to be considered.