Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the federal government raked in about N34.67 billion in one year through the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).He spoke yesterday at the 21st annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).
According to him, with the introduction of tax amnesty regime under VAIDS, 5,122 applications were received within 12 months with N92.62 billion tax liability, that about N34.67 billion has been paid and N56.81 billion to be paid in instalments.Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmood Isa-Dutse, the president explained that full paymentcame from about 1,006 applications, 1,613 had outstanding payment to make and about 2,503 applications did not provide adequate information on their tax status.
His words: "In all, 16,906 assets were declared under VAIDs, of which 3,317 are immovable assets, 13,771 are movable assets, while 205 represented intangible assets and investments."Expressing concern over the abysmal level of tax to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at nine per cent, he reiterated government's stance in setting an aggressive tax target for the country.
"As part of our drive to increase non-oil revenue, we have set an aggressive target for increasing tax collection. We will therefore develop a framework that mobilises revenue from the non-oil sector."
Nigeria's tax system needs to be dynamic to respond to the ever evolving commercial landscape and increase technology-driven business model, he said, adding that government's objective in widening the tax base in line with international best practices could only be achieved through the support of the institute and major stakeholders in the tax system.
Buhari, however, mentioned that government was aware of the challenges in achieving voluntary tax compliance, affirming his administration's commitment to changing the narrative by ensuring judicious use of funds through the strict enforcement of Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy and zero tolerance for corruption.
He said: "We will ensure that every kobo is accounted for."While commending CITN for reviewing the National Tax Policy document and other tax reform bills as well as the updated Charter of Tax Demands, he urged them not to rest on their oars in contributing to national development.