Finance Minister Wale Edun says the federation account is witnessing improved revenue inflow since the subsidy removal, from an average of N650 million monthly to over N1 trillion in the last four months.
The minister stated this on Monday in Asaba at the opening ceremony of a four-day retreat organised for members of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
Mr Edun, represented by the Permanent Secretary of Finance, Special Duties, Okokon Udo, said the government had long realised that petroleum subsidies were unsustainable.
According to him, the subsidy regime eroded revenues that should have been available to fund viable expenditures critical to the populace’s well-being.
“We all know that achieving a tax revenue to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target of 22 per cent and a tax to GDP of 18 per cent by 2026 are parts of the cardinal objectives of this administration.
”However, in doing that, we appreciate the need not to overburden the taxpayers by introducing so many new taxes.
”What is necessary to be done is to broaden the tax base, simplify and streamline tax administration for ease of collection,” he said.
Mr Edun said the constitution of the Presidential Committee of Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms had submitted an interim report, which, according to him, is full of optimism.
The minister also noted that the present administration was aware of the untold hardship Nigerians faced following the removal of fuel subsidies and the harmonisation of exchange rates.
“The government is bent on ensuring that the economy bounces back to normal as we continue to consolidate recovery efforts while focusing on achieving inclusive economic growth and development,” he added.
In an opening remark, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta tasked the federal government to muster the political will by putting the necessary policy and institutional framework in place to diversify the nation’s economy.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Monday Onyeme, said there was no magic wand to diversify the nation’s economy from over-dependence on revenue from crude oil unless concerted efforts were made in other key sectors.
The governor commended the FAAC committee for its commitment to duty by enhancing revenue accruals into the federation account.
The Accountant Generals from the thirty-six states, the FCT, and other stakeholders such as customs are attending the retreat.