The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said about 165 million Nigerians are not paying tax.
Chairman of the Joint Tax Board, Babatunde Fowler disclosed this in Abuja at a peer review conference on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), organized by the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) in collaboration with the World Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom
Fowler who also heads FIRS, said that below 15 million Nigerians are captured in the tax net nationwide.
Most of the defaulters, according to him are high net worth individuals, and people in the private sector.
The situation, he said, had compelled the government to seek an avenue of having access to information on all categories of taxpayers through a Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), where taxpayers who were in default of tax payment would be required to voluntarily declare their assets and income within a time frame.
Fowler said the Nigerian economy would be better if more persons pay their taxes as the state and federal governments would receive more revenue to carry out their social contract responsibilities to the people.