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Most Companies in Nigeria don't pay tax says Okonjo-Iweala

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Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating  Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, on Thursday urged Nigerians to comply with the tax law if they want government to depend less on oil. 

Okonjo-Iweala said this in Lagos at the Stakeholders' Engagement Forum organised by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). She said 65% of companies had not forwarded their tax returns in the last two years and 75% of registered companies were not in the tax net of the FIRS. 

“This is a launch of our communications with tax payers to hear their ideas, we are accepting that there are areas we may need to hear and improve, but we also want to tell them what we are doing,” she said. 

According to her “We have engaged on a process of increasing our non-oil taxes, every Nigerian wants to see us depend less on oil, and more on the other resources of the economy. So we want to share with them that we are actually doing that work now, and that we want them to cooperate with us, let them be ambassadors for good tax compliance. And we wanted to share with them some of the findings because 65 per cent of companies have not filed their taxes for the past two years from the study that was done. A situation whereby 75% of registered companies are not registered in the tax data, we need to step up our efforts.'' 

The minister lauded Ogun state government for introducing tax compliance into its Civic Education in the curricula of the primary and secondary schools. According to her, the action will help in educating the younger generation about tax payment.