Rich Nigerians should pay more tax – Budget Office

THE Director-General of Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, has said that rich Nigerians should be made to pay more taxes in order to improve revenue generation.

Akabueze gave the suggestion yesterday in Abuja at the launch of the World Bank’s report titled, ‘Nigeria Public Finance Review: Fiscal Adjustment for Better and Sustained Results’.

According to him, wealthy citizens should be taxed based on their earnings. “We need to tax the rich. We have extremely wealthy people existing side-by-side with extremely poor people. I describe it as ‘elite conspiracy’ not to distribute a fair share of the nation’s resources,” he said.

“If you own a private jet, that is fantastic. If you buy one for yourself, buy one for the country by paying 100 percent tax on it. This is not an area of debate.

 “Certain sectors that are growing very well also need to pay taxes. The creative and media– you have all these folks assaulting us daily with their show of their new cars.

 “I don’t see any other option. We have to tax the rich. They should pay taxes commensurate with their earnings,” Akabueze added. 

    Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief Economic Adviser, Prof. Doyin Salami said Nigerians must pay taxes for the country to generate revenue or be forced to pay higher interest rates on borrowed funds.

   “If you don’t pay tax, you will pay high-interest rates because if you don’t pay tax, we have to go borrowing and if we borrow, we have to repay the loans with higher interest rates,” he said.

   Salami noted that the income difference between the wealthy and the poor in the country was frighteningly wide.

   “We have to raise more taxes from the rich for social balance,” he added.

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