Rising insecurity, naira’s fall worsening business environment – NGF

The Director-General, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Okauru, says worsening insecurity and currency depreciation have been adversely affecting the business environment and taxable income in Nigeria.

The NGF DG, who was represented by the Senior Programme Manager, NGF/SFTAS, Mr Lanre Ajogbasile, said this during a presentation at a workshop in Abuja organised by the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability Programme Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

He added that the perceived weak social contract between citizens and the government continues to threaten the legitimacy of taxation.

In a presentation titled, ‘Improving Internally Generated Revenue: Trend and Emerging Reforms’, it was noted that Nigeria is still recovering from adverse fiscal and macroeconomic conditions, which had exerted strong pressure on the fiscal sustainability of governments at national and sub-national levels.

He added that the adverse fiscal pressure had been primarily due to over-dependence on Federation Accounts Allocation Committee transfers which are constantly threatened by the increasing volatility in oil prices and mounting subsidy payments.

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted government spending, economic activities and government’s internally generated revenue, with states and FCT IGR shrinking by 2.1 per cent (N28.15bn) between 2019 and 2020.

He said, “Worsening insecurity and currency depreciation is affecting the business environment and consequently, productivity and income to be taxed.”

He also said that the total number of registered taxpayers (States and FCT) was estimated to reach 35 million persons in 2019/2020, which was about 50 per cent of the total labour force of 70 million persons

He added that only 13 per cent of taxpayers fully trust tax officials, while 83 per cent are likely to evade tax payments.

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