Minister explains how 2019 budget would be funded
By Tasie Thodore
Nigeria’s Finance minister, Zainab Ahmed has stated that as part of plans to finance the 2019 budget, the federal government has concluded plans to increase the current quantum of revenue collection through the introduction of new taxes.
Ahmed was speaking at the public hearing on the 2019 budget organised by the Senate and House of Representatives committees on appropriation.
Saying that the initiative was a three-fold drive, she appealed for the support of the National Assembly in its implementation.
“The first area is sustainability in revenue generation. The focus of this is for us to build a sustainable revenue generation ecosystem by ensuring resilience and applying automising revenue streams, applying the right incentives, the right safeguards as well as ensuring accountability and performance management systems.”
Broken down, she explained, government seeks to improve collection, block loopholes, and collaborate with trading partners to manage performance, while also deregulating and providing funding for the energy sector.
“The second thematic area is to identify new and enhance the enforcement of existing revenues streams. We plan to grow revenue by collecting new taxes, modulling the tax base and enabling strategic investment that will spur economic growth. In this area, we have identified some new taxes that we’ll be coming to discuss with the National Assembly. We’ve also continuously been working to broaden the tax base to expand and improve the value added tax performance.
“We will be working with the National Assembly to amend some laws and we might be using some executive orders.”
With persistent complaints over a slowly performing economy, high lending rates and continued dependence on petroleum exports, analysts say that the reality may very well be that even the businesses that are to be taxed may already be too hard-pressed to be able to yield much to the government’s coffers.
Finance Minister of Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed