Thursday, June 29, 2017 5.30pm/Proshare WebTV
The Federal Government has declared every Thursday henceforth as Tax enlightenment and awareness day in Nigeria. Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) disclosed this at the formal launch of the Voluntary Assets Income Declaration scheme and Tax amnesty programme , at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said the launch of the VAIDS comes with an Executive Order that will last from July 1st, 2017 to March 31st, 2018 , which is geared towards driving Nigeria’s taxation process.
Increasing revenue through taxation is part of the strategy of the Federal Government, in its determination to lead Nigeria out of the current recession into the pathway of growth.
Speaking further the Acting President said “Only 214 Nigerians pay tax above N20ml or more each year, and all of them are based in Lagos”.
He stressed that when people pay taxes they pay more attention to what government is doing. This he believes comes with a greater level of political & social consciousness.
In terms of international agreements , the Acting President stated that Nigeria was now party to the new global standard on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI), which kicks off in 2018.
According to him “taxes are not only about boosting government revenues. When people pay taxes they hold government to account more”. In declaring the scheme open Osinbajo said paying taxes was the duty of every Nigerian citizen.
In her remarks the Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun noted that out of 69 million economically active Nigerians, about 14 million pay their taxes.
On the tax amnesty scheme , she said “Our
#VAIDS offer is a generous one: declare unpaid taxes fully and honestly, and we will waive penalties, interest and investigations”.
The Finance Minister decried the fact that Nigeria had a tax to GDP ratio of 6%, which was too low for Africa’s largest economy.
To facilitate the Tax Thursday awareness scheme, which will last for the next 1 year the FG is engaging the services of community liaison officers from the N-Power scheme.
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