President Bola Tinubu has expressed his unwavering commitment to breaking the vicious cycle of overreliance on borrowing for public spending and the resulting burden of debt servicing it places on the management of Nigeria’s limited revenues.
Tinubu disclosed this in a statement by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, on Tuesday after Inaugurating the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, chaired by Mr Taiwo Oyedele.
He charged the Committee to improve the country’s revenue profile and business environment as the Federal Government moves to achieve an 18% Tax-to-GDP ratio within three years.
The President directed the Committee to achieve its one-year mandate, which is divided into three main areas: fiscal governance, tax reforms, and growth facilitation.
He also directed all government ministries and departments to cooperate fully with the committee towards achieving their mandate.
President Tinubu told the Committee members the significance of their assignment, as his administration carries the burden of expectations from citizens who want their government to make their lives better.
“We cannot blame the people for expecting much from us. To whom much is given, much is expected.
“It is even more so when we campaigned on a promise of a better country anchored on our Renewed Hope Agenda. I have committed myself to use every minute I spend in this office to work to improve the quality of life of our people,” he declared.
Acknowledging Nigeria’s current international standing in the tax sector, the President said the nation still faces challenges such as ease of tax payment and its Tax-to-GDP ratio, which lags behind even Africa’s Continental average.
“We aim to transform the tax system to support sustainable development while achieving a minimum of 18% tax-to-GDP ratio within the next three years.
“Without revenue, the government cannot provide adequate social services to the people it is entrusted to serve.
“The Committee, in the first instance, is expected to deliver a schedule of quick reforms that can be implemented within thirty days. Critical reform measures should be recommended within six months, and full implementation will occur within one calendar year,” the President directed.
According to the Debt Management Office, Nigeria’s total debt stock is N49. 85 trillion in January 2023, excluding the securitized N22.7 trillion Ways and Means Loan.