Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that even though crude oil gives Nigeria over 70 percent of its revenue, it constitutes only 13 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
The minister said this was a situation that must not be allowed to continue, stressing that it is the reason why the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was focusing on non-oil revenue generation.
Adeosun made this assertion on Thursday, in Kano State, during the opening ceremony of the National Revenue Retreat with the theme: “Enhancing Revenue Generation for Sustainable National Development”. The retreat was attended by state officials from Lagos, Kano, Jigawa and Edo states.
She stressed that Nigeria must improves her revenue collection efforts as ‘revenue to GDP in the country is one of the lowest in the continent.
Adeosun stated that Nigeria’s tax to GDP is only 6 percent versus 26 percent in South Africa and 21 percent in Tunisia, stressing that the ministry of finance has committed itself to focusing totally on revenue generation.
She however said ,”our revenue focus will not burden Nigeria ,but will ensure that all revenue due to Nigerians ‘s government ,irrespective of the source ,is collected with high degree of efficiency ,fully receipted and properly accounted for,
“The days when revenue generating agencies acted as autonomous entities outside of the budget cannot be allowed to continue. Whether the funds are from fees and fines, from taxes or from projects, the law is clear that every naira must be paid into Consolidated Revenue Fund.”
She stated that discipline and accountability in the spending of public money is a trademark and policy focus of the President Buhari-led administration.
The minister posited that citizens will not willingly pay revenues if the funds are seen to be leaking or are being wasted, adding that all spending must start with revenue and therefore “we have commenced the work of plugging the leakages of government revenue.”