Bode Agusto, former Director-General of Budget Office on Tuesday said wealthy Nigerians are the biggest tax evaders in the country.
He made the revelation at the 17th Annual Aret Adams Memorial Lecture in Lagos He inserted that tax evaders should be punished with stiff penalties.
“There is a need to increase non-oil tax revenues in the country. Non-oil taxes collected by all tiers of government in Nigeria averaged four percent of national income in the past five years.
“In Angola, it was eight percent; Ghana, 16 percent; Kenya, 18 percent; South Africa, 24 percent, and in the OECD countries, 32 percent. The World Bank says a nation cannot grow meaningfully if tax revenue is less than 15 percent of national income.
“Why is Nigeria generating significantly lower tax revenues than other key economies in sub-Saharan Africa? In my opinion, it is largely due to poor tax compliance in Nigeria.
“What if Nigeria were able to increase non-oil tax revenue to 15 percent of national income? This means that Nigeria will generate an additional N14.4tn in revenues every year.