Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Escaping rentier status

The estimates I've seen say that over 80% of government revenue in Nigeria comes from selling petroleum. The government is beginning to take steps to escape that dependence. Further developments will determine whether it actually makes government more responsive and the economy better able to participate in global markets.

Jonathan Launches New Tax Policy, Tax ID Number
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has launched a new Tax Identification Number (TIN) and national tax policy with objective of creating a new spirit in the way Nigerians see taxation.

The new tax policy and the identification number would also ensure that all Nigerian citizens of working age pay tax, and consequently lead to increased revenue from taxation in the country.

President Jonathan would not only ensure that Nigerians see taxation as a partnership, but also create an economy that is self-sufficient that would not depend wholly on resource wealth to bring development to the people.

Launching the new TIN and tax policy shortly before the commencement of the National Economic Council (NEC), which is usually chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the president said… "It is with pleasure that I welcome you to today's historic twin event, the formal launch of the nationwide tax identification number and the national tax policy. Overall, what we seek to achieve with the introduction of the national tax policy is to have a nation and a people who see taxation as a partnership with government."…

Jonathan stated that, "[W]e want to institutionalize a tax culture among Nigerians so that we see ourselves as custodians of the tax system and our commonwealth. We are definitely on the right track. Of course, it is only when you pay tax that you an talk of tax payers' money…"

The launch of the new tax policy marks the culmination of a journey of about a decade. "The idea of national tax policy first arose from the report of the presidential study and a private sector working group set up in the year 2002 which examined the Nigerian tax system and made recommendations towards entrenching a better tax policy and improved tax administration in our dear country," the president recalled.

He noted that the national tax policy which was being launched today was a product of wide spread consultations and deliberations at all tiers of government and all sectors of the economy…

"I wish to reiterate this administration's commitment to repositioning Nigeria for the challenges of today's global economy," he said…

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