The Tax System & Vision 20:2020
Will Nigeria arrive early?
With the renewed commitment by the Federal Government to diversify the economy by growing the non-oil tax revenue in order to develop stable and sustainable revenue source to finance developmental projects, the tax system must be re-wired to be more flexible and adaptive to facilitate these aspirations
Nigeria's archives are littered with series of programmes geared towards social, political and economic transformation of the nation. These programmes have either been poorly implemented, neglected or outrightly abandoned. The magic word for such programmes in the last 15 years is Vision. Thus, Nigeria has had Vision 2000, Vision 2010 and now the latest, Vision 20:2020. The latter is the vision that expects Nigeria to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena.
Some key parameters of Vision 20:2020 as set by the Federal Government are as follows:
- Polity: a peaceful, harmonious and a stable democracy
- Macro-economy: a sound, stable, and globally competitive economy with a GDP of not less than $900 billion and a per capita income of not less than $4,000
- Education: modern and vibrant education system which provides opportunity to maximise potential and develop adequate and competent manpower
- Agriculture: a modern technologically enabled agricultural sector that fully exploits the vast agricultural resources of the country, ensures national food security and contributes to foreign exchange earnings
- Manufacturing: a vibrant globally competitive manufacturing sector that contributes significantly to GDP with a manufacturing value added of not less than 40%
- Infrastructure: adequate infrastructure services that support the full mobilisation of all economic sectors
- Health: a health sector that expects and sustains a life expectancy of not less than 70 years and reduces to the barest minimum the burden of infectious and other debilitating diseases
Delivering on these parameters demands significant financial commitment/investment by the Government. Despite the enormous human and natural resources that Nigeria possesses, the frustration at the parlous state of infrastructure and social service delivery systems is manifest in the almost perennial lamentation and agony by young and old, rich and poor, "nothing works in this Nigeria". And the reason for the apparent failure of governance is the elusive and unknown but ubiquitous scapegoat called the “Nigerian factor”.