Despite working towards increasing internally generated revenue through the broadening of tax base, the federal government has maintained that there is no intention to increase taxes.
Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, made the clarification at a public hearing of the Joint Session of the National Assembly on the 2017 Budget.
The minister’s explanation is contained in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Akpandem James, on Monday in Abuja.
The minister said: “A view has been expressed that we should not increase taxes, that we should broaden tax collection instead; that is precisely what is in the budget.”
“There is no increase in VAT, there is no increase in company income tax, there is no increase at all in taxes, but people who are not paying taxes must be made to pay.
“So the idea is to increase revenue by broadening the tax base, not by increasing taxes.’’
Senator Ben Bruce had given the impression that the Federal Government was about to increase taxes, a development that which the senator explained would further worsen the economic fortunes of individuals and businesses.
Speaking on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, Udoma said government consulted with the private sector extensively on the development of the plan.
According to him, government has a clear vision and is on a determined path to get the economy out of recession.
“We are determined, thereafter, to begin to go back to the path of growth, a more diversified growth, not depending just on crude oil.
“We want to stimulate our manufacturing sector, we want to stimulate agriculture; so we have a coherent, cohesive plan.”