Nigeria: Don't Introduce New Tax Reforms, IMF Urges Nigeria

Value Added Tax - VAT

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday advised Nigeria against implementing new tax measures at this time in order not to exacerbate the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 on the economy.

The Bretton Woods institution's Director, African Department, Abebe Selassie, gave the advice during a media briefing on its updated Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

He also said Nigeria must introduce new economic policies that would not be encumbered by existing policy challenges in order to mitigate the impending economic hardship.

"We feel that Nigeria should have a nimble policy response to ensure that the hit to the economy is not compounded by policy challenges. This is not the time to aggressively introduce new tax measures but it is a long standing challenge on the fiscal side to have sufficient revenue generated from non-oil sources to provide investment in health, infrastructure etc," he said.

On sub-Saharan Africa, Selassie said more support was needed regardless of the support received so far from the international community.

"More international support is needed urgently. This year alone, countries in the region will face additional financing needs of over $110 billion, and despite the efforts outlined above, $44 billion of this has yet to be financed", Selassie added.

On the way forward, he advised that once the crisis waned, countries should refocus their attention on transforming their economies, creating jobs, and boosting living standards.

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