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NESG establishes Nigeria Fiscal Policy Roundtable to help boost government revenues

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Friday, March 16, 2018 3.00PM / NESG

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has announced the creation and induction of commissioners for the Nigeria Fiscal Policy Roundtable to formulate policy recommendations to boost government revenues. Nigeria’s revenues have historically been low and overly dependent on the oil sector.

 IMF estimates that revenue collected in 2016 across all tiers of government was only about 6% of GDP. Historically, more than 70% of those revenues have come from the oil sector while the non-oil sector which accounts for more than 90% of GDP, has historically contributed only 30% to revenues. This limits Nigeria’s ability to credibly execute its development plan and to fund critical social sector programs.

Building a strong revenue base that is balanced between the oil and non-oil sector is therefore critical to sustainably financing Nigeria’s development agenda and long term macro-economic stability.

The Fiscal Policy Roundtable will support the Nigerian state by providing clear and actionable homegrown policy reforms to increase government revenues, complementing the technical advice provided by institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The Roundtable will leverage the current revenue generation initiatives of the Nigerian Government and propose better fiscal policy proposals to the various tiers of Government. The initiative is an independent, non-partisan, one-off Commission focused entirely on fiscal policy. It is intended to support the Nigerian government in its efforts to increase revenues by looking beyond tax administration efforts to addressing gaps in tax policy. The Roundtable is supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Commenting on the establishment of the roundtable, the Chairman of the NESG, Kyari Bukar said “to fundamentally increase Nigeria’s fiscal space, tax policy needs to be addressed and the composition of government expenditure needs to be critically assessed. The tax structure across the various tiers of government must also be reviewed. We believe that this roundtable will make recommendations that will increase domestic revenue mobilization and therefore free up more fiscal space for spending in key development sectors.”

The inducted Steering Committee of Fiscal Commissioners shall oversee the roundtable governance at a strategic level, guide the roundtable’s pre-research work and guide the secretariat in drawing up a work plan for the Roundtable. It comprises a group of eminent Nigerians with experience in macro-economic policy and deep understanding of the country’s political economy. Eight Fiscal Commissioners were inducted led by Dr (Mrs) Sarah Alade, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria who chairs the Steering Committee.

Dr Doyin Salami, Associate Professor at the Lagos Business School, serves as the Commission’s Research Director and resident commissioner of the roundtable. Other Fiscal Commissioners are Clare Omatseye, Dr. Obadiah O. Mailafia, Onyeache Tifase, Dr. Suleiman Ndanusa, Dr. Teju Shomorin, and Oluseun Onigbinde.

The Roundtable is expected to guide national tax research and studies, engage and frame citizens’ perception on taxation and leverage cutting-edge tax surveys as well as macro-modelling approaches to proffering solutions to tax and fiscal policy challenges through evidence-based advocacy.

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