By Yinka Kolawole
The Federal Government is set to shift focus from revenue collection to tax compliance under the second phase of its Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI 2.0).
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, stated this yesterday, at a webinar on economic outlook organised by Delloite, an audit, consulting and corporate finance company.
She said in order to drive the economy towards recovery, the government is adopting two major fiscal initiatives – the 2020 Finance Act and SRGI.
According to her, SRGI is a mechanism for enhancing fiscal revenues from 6 to 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023.
She said the second phase of SRGI, which will include a partnership with state governments, will soon be adopted.
On the planned adoption of SRGI 2.0, Ahmed said a consultative session will be held to determine areas of improvement, adding that the government will shift focus from revenue collection to tax compliance in SRGI 2.0.
She stated: “We would all have a consultative process to see what has worked and what has not. But I can tell you that we have already decided that we must add a thematic area that centres around tax administration and tax compliance.
“We noticed during the period that revenue collecting agencies are busy measuring their performance on revenue collection rather than tax compliance. We want to shift focus to tax compliance because when you shift to tax compliance, revenue will follow it. And compliance goes on the side of the tax collector and the revenue agencies. That is one of the new things we want to add in SRGP 2.0.”
Ahmed said the federal government is working towards making Nigeria an industrialised nation in the next five years, as well as reducing the country’s dependence on crude oil.
“We have a long way to go and it is not going to be an easy journey for us. This over-dependence did not start today. We have started doing that by recalibrating our budget to reduce the reliance on oil revenue and if you look at the Nigerian GDP, the contribution of the oil and gas industry has been on the decline,” she added.