Out of 70 million taxable adults in Nigeria, only 40 million pay taxes, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has said.
She spoke yesterday at the first annual lecture of the Lagos State Professorial Chair of Tax and Fiscal Matters held at the Ade-Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos.
Mrs Adeosun who chaired the lecture, said about 13 per cent of the active tax payers have their taxes deducted at source under Pay as You Earn (PAYE).
She said tax policies cannot be rigid and needed regular reviews so that many more of the 30 million defaulters could be captured into the tax net.
She said: “I have kept asking why the 30 million people have refused to pay taxes. Another major challenge is the fact that many Nigerians have other sources of income, yet they are only taxed only through the PAYE. Yet, they earn so much from part-time jobs, and extra businesses.”
According to her, new tax policies in the country must capture online businesses, entrepreneurship and others such as the film industry, otherwise regarded as Nollywood.
Mrs. Adeosun, who reiterated the importance of taxation to national development, noted that every developed country has a well developed tax policy and that Nigeria cannot be an exception.
The lecture titled: “Policy, Legal and Administrative Imperatives in the Quest for Eradicating Multiplicity of Taxes in Lagos State” was delivered by Prof Abiola Sanni of UNILAG Law Faculty.