Nigeria recovers $98million with tax evasion amnesty

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Mr Babatunde Fowler, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Nigeria’s government has recovered around 30 billion Naira ($98 million) from individuals and companies through a tax amnesty scheme, the finance ministry said.

The Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) gives tax evaders immunity from prosecution, penalty charges and interest, if they voluntarily declare their previously undisclosed assets and income.

The finance ministry said the Federal Inland Revenue Service chairman, Babatunde Fowler, in a statement announced details of money recovered while speaking at an event in the capital Abuja:

“Mr Fowler said the federal government had recovered about 30 billion Naira from individuals and corporate establishments through the tax amnesty scheme.”  

It said the database of registered taxpayers had increased from 14 million in 2016 to more than 19 million this year.

Fowler “expressed optimism that the number would translate into a positive growth in the country’s tax revenue-to-GDP ratio.”

The country’s tax-to-GDP ratio stands at 6 percent.

The government last year laid out plans to increase it to 15 percent by 2020. Earlier this month an increase in excise duties on tobacco and alcohol came into effect.

Amaka E. Nliam