NIGERIAN billionaires, trillionaires, entrepreneurs evading payment of tax in the country may have no hiding place anymore as Federal Government has threatened to come up with a new tax regime that will end their years of economic sabotage in the country.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday while speaking at a colloquium to mark the 65th birthday anniversary of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The minister, lamented that many Nigerian entrepreneurs had developed the habit of not paying tax, however, hinted that a new tax regime was on the offing.
According to her, one of the strategies the current administration of President Muhammdu Buhari intends to use in boosting the country’s revenue is through tax mobilization.
“It is a pity that Nigeria has one of the lowest tax regime ratio globally at six per cent. The only country that is lower than us is Oman. We have so many wealthy entrepreneurs, who have managed to develop habit of not paying tax, we need to correct that,” Adeosun said.
The recalled that the administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu became unpopular when it introduced tax regime in Lagos, but pointed out that, “When we see the infrastructure, I don’t think anyone will blame him for his action.”
“I take this opportunity to reach out to the millionaires, billionaires and trillionaires that you will hear from me soon,” the minister added.
Adeosun contended that the economic challenge confronting the country required multiple strings of revenue as crude oil had proved to be an unreliable source of revenue due to price instability.
“It is shame that we are one of the largest owners of crude oil, but we cannot enjoy the revenue from it. Oil has proven that it would be an unreliable source of revenue. The price is unstable,” she further lamented.
While assuring that the country would soon be out of the economic recession, she revealed that the Federal Government was already copying the Lagos template to revive the economy.
To make the economy productive, she said the Federal Government recently released N1trillion for capital expenditure, adding that measures were being taken to bring about multiple streams of revenue.
Adeosun said, “The economic template we copied from you (Lagos) is now being implemented for economic recovery of the country and we are not ashamed to say it. The impact of that template is that many of the states are now copying it especially in the area of IGR.”