Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, says 363,000 companies have been brought into the tax paying net in just two months, highlighting the level of non-compliance in the past.
Adeosun also expressed her belief that corruption is a far bigger problem to the Nigerian economy that prevailing monetary policy issues.
According to Thecable news, Mrs Adeosun speaking at the Jack Morton auditorium of the George Washington University, Adeosun said there are risks being faced in Nigeria, but necessary targets would be met.
“Of course there are risks, there’s no guaranty that we would hit all our targets, but we are working assiduously to ensure that the reforms are successful,” she said.
“For example, in about two months, we have registered 363,000 companies that have never paid tax. So that is the sort of level of non-compliance that we are tackling.
“VAT, where we have difference of opinion with IMF, is five percent, but level of compliance is 12 percent. So there is low hanging fruit in revenue collection.
“We are using technology, we are using cashless platforms and we are very serious about hitting those targets. So, are there risks? Yes. Are we aware of them? Yes. Are we trying to mitigate them in our action plans? Absolutely.”
WHY INVESTORS SHOULD COME TO NIGERIA
Speaking on the challenging foreign exchange regime in Nigeria, Adeosun highlighted why investors should come to Nigeria.
“My answer to the question on what do you say to investors; my answer is which investors? If we are talking about portfolio investors, I think we should very careful in Africa. They have a way of destabilising our economies.
“If we are talking about long term investors, I think the compelling business case in Nigeria is such that people, long term investors, recognise the difference, between a short term issue and a longer term issue, and would make their plans based on the longer term opportunities that Nigeria offers.
CORRUPTION ‘GREATER PROBLEM THAN MONETARY POLICY’
She said the Muhammadu Buhari administration is “very very keen and very committed to the fight against corruption. The international community constantly, it is very interesting how the rhetoric has changed, the international community was almost obsessed with corruption in Nigeria for at least 20 years.
“Now we have a leader that is ready to fight corruption, (and) its all about monetary policy? Monetary policy is short term problem and it would be solved.
Corruption is far more damaging, and has been far more damaging, and has turned off more investors than the monetary policy challenges.
“We need to look at the bigger picture. The bigger picture for Africa is a positive one. We have learnt some lessons, we are growing, we are young, and we are late adopters, so we can take advantage of new opportunities.”