Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president, said Thursday that the federal government’s tax revenue increased to 51 percent year-on-year in 2017 as a result of the aggressive tax policies introduced by the current administration
Osinbajo disclosed this at the Financial Times Nigeria Summit on “Dispelling Uncertainty and Building Resilience’’ in Lagos.
Speaking on “Nigeria beyond oil-The pathway to transformation’’, the VP said that the federal government had diversified the economy to ensure proper growth and development.
“Aside from oil, tax revenues have gone up by 51 percent in 2017. We are recording high tax revenue in the history of the country,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said that tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be above six percent it used to be, going by growth recorded in tax revenue.
On external debt, he assured Nigerians that the current debt profile was still small and nothing to worry about when compared to GDP.
Osinbajo said that the country’s debt to GDP was 21 percent, compared with Ghana that was around 70 percent and South Africa 50 per cent, USA 101 percent.
He stated that the country’s debt to revenue as at Nov. 2017 was 34 percent down from about 60 percent in the past.
“The reason why we have the alarmists is that this is only a snapshot, if you take a snapshot of Nov. 2017, you are not looking at revenue, you might say that the debt is very high.
“So, you cannot respond to these things by snapshot because you are not taking into account the revenue.
“Our external debt is not something we should worry about, we have managed debt very well,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said that government would remain committed to the development of local capacity with the implementation of various initiatives enlisted in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
On privatisation, he said that government was still committed to privatisation exercise and was too looking at assets that needed to be privatised.
He said that government would concession General Electric and the four major airports in the country.