ECOWAS advises Nigeria to grow VAT revenue
The Economic Community of West African States on Monday raised concern over the low contribution of Value Added Tax to the tax revenue rate in Nigeria.
ECOWAS blamed the setback on policy decisions and compliance rate.
The ECOWAS Director of the Customs Union and Taxation, Salifou Tiemtore, expressed the concern in Abuja during a workshop on the production of the VAT tax expenditure for Nigeria, which was organised by the ECOWAS Commission under the Context of the Implementation of the Support Programme for Tax Transition in West Africa.
The PATF aimed to improve the management of domestic taxation and ensure better coordination of taxation in the ECOWAS and West African Economic and Monetary Union regions.
Tiemtore commended the Federal Inland Revenue Service for its performance in 2022, with a total tax collection of N10.1tn, with non-oil taxes contributing 59 per cent of the total collection.
He however said VAT contribution of 25 per cent to the collection was relative, especially when compared with the 2021 tax collections, which had a VAT contribution of 47.1 per cent.
He said, “During the regional seminar in Abidjan on the theme, ‘Management of tax incentives in West Africa and definition of the reference tax system in terms of VAT’, it was recommended that member-states should transmit the tax expenditure evaluation reports to ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions by the end of March of the year following the year of evaluation.
“I want to believe that the stakeholders would have put up this report if not for the general elections in Nigeria but now, you have the opportunity.
“I therefore want to encourage all the participants to work assiduously to ensure that this report is not only ready but transmitted to ECOWAS before the end of March, 2023.”
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, represented by the Director, Technical Services in the Ministry, Fatima Hayatu, lamented that successive administrations in Nigeria had demonstrated keen desire to finance governments investments in public services, critical infrastructure, security, among others but revenue challenges continued to present a wedge to those commitments.