Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has canvassed the need for government to expand its double taxation treaties with foreign missions and embassies, among others to increase its revenue base.
He said Nigeria has only 14 double taxation treaties with other countries when South Africa has 80 of such despite the numerous foreign missions, embassies and high commissions in almost all countries of the world that the country should have pacts with. Elumelu, who was keynote speaker at the ongoing 21st annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), said government does not understand the benefit and implication of treaties for national development.
He pointed out that to achieve a progressive, efficient and effective tax regime in the country, there was the need for government to look into the double taxation treaties with other countries to expand Nigeria’s revenue base.He lamented that Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio is at six per cent, while Rwanda with a population of about 10 million people has a tax to GDP ration of 16 per cent
Elumelu also noted that with the size of Nigeria’s economy of about $400b, if the tax ratio increased to about 10 per cent, which is about $40b and the foreign reserve is about $44b, it would help capitalise the government to deliver on its campaign promises.