FG generated N1.17tn from 19 million taxpayers – Lai Mohammed

FG generated N1.17tn from 19 million taxpayers – Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government said on Sunday that the tax base of the country now had 19 million taxpayers , noting that the taxes stood at about N1 . 17 tn in the first quarter of 2018 .

The Minister of Information and Culture , Alhaji Lai Mohammed , stated this at a press conference to mark the third anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying that the whistle -blowing policy had yielded the recovery of N13. 8 bn from tax evaders .

The minister said that under the Buhari administration, inflation fell for “15 consecutive months , from 18 . 7 per cent to 12 .5 per cent as of April 2018 ” , adding that the country ’s external reserves stood presently at $ 48 bn – the highest in five years and “ more than double the $23 bn we met in 2015. ”

Mohammed said , “ The whistle – blowing policy introduced by the Ministry of Finance in December 2016 has since yielded N13. 8bn from tax evaders as well as N7 .8 bn , $ 378 m and £ 27 ,800 in recovery from public officials .

“ Also , five million new taxpayers added to the tax base since 2016 as part of the efforts to diversify government revenues , brought the total to 19 million taxpayers . Tax revenue increased to N1 . 17tn in the first quarter of 2018 , a 51 per cent increase on the first quarter of 2017.

“ The Buhari administration has extended more than N 1. 9 tn to state governments to enable them to meet their salary and pension obligations. The support has come in the form of budget support facility , Paris Club refunds and infrastructure loans . ”

The minister said the Federal Government had also raked in about N143 bn into the treasury through the whistle – blowing policy .

Speaking on the efforts put into power generation , the minister said before the end of 2018 , Nigeria would generate 9 ,000 megawatts.

Mohammed said , “There will be more than 2 ,000MW of additional power generation capacity by the end of 2018 , in addition to the 7 ,000MW currently being generated . We have also launched N701 bn payment assurance programme designed to resolve the liquidity challenges in the power sector by guaranteeing payments to the generating companies and gas suppliers .

“ The Federal Executive Council has also approved a Distribution Expansion Programme to increase distribution capacity in collaboration with the Distribution Companies. ”

On the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the North – Central Zone, the minister gave the assurance that the government would not fold its arms .

“ There is the deployment of a Joint Military Intervention Force comprising regular and special forces ’ personnel from the army , air force and navy , who are working in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps ,” the minister noted .

He said Nigerians must believe that the Federal Government was accountable in its policies .

The minister said , “For those who are tempted to belittle our achievements , let me quickly say that on May 29, 2015, the Boko Haram was squarely in charge of a territory , the size of Lebanon , as it occupied 24 Local Government Areas , collected taxes , deposed and installed emirs and hoisted its flags . Corruption in our society was at an all – time high and the economy was in the doldrums .

“ Today , we are making strong and steady progress in the three priority areas we set for the nation ; economy , security and the fight against corruption. We must be able to own our own future . We cannot be a hostage to oil price or production levels . By building an economy that is no longer reliant on the income from one commodity through the diversification process, we will be creating a sustainable basis for long- term and inclusive growth . We are aware that the government must be accountable, and this government is very accountable. ”

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