Nigerians pay highest implicit tax rate globally – Adesina

President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has lamented that Nigerians paid one of the highest implicit tax rates in the world.

He noted that when governments or institutions failed to provide basic services, the people would bear the burden of a heavy implicit tax.

Adesina said this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Industrialisation, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, on Saturday, March 30.

“Truth be told, Nigerians pay one of the highest implicit tax rates in the world. Most of the citizens provide electricity for themselves via generators; they repair roads in their neighbourhoods if they can afford to. They provide boreholes for drinking water with their money,” Adesina said.

“In the 21st century, this is incredulous as every household should have pipe-borne water! Sadly, the abnormal has been normalised.

“If people pay taxes, governments must deliver services to citizens and be held accountable for their ability to do so or not. Governments should not transfer their responsibility to citizens. When governments or institutions fail to provide basic services, the people bear the burden of a heavy implicit tax,” he added.

He suggested that to succeed with much-needed welfarist and people-centred policies across Nigeria, it was necessary to change the governance system and decentralise governance to states to provide greater autonomy.

Adesina also emphasised that states had tremendous potential to become even more financially autonomous through greater fiscal prudence.

“If states focus on unlocking the huge resources they have, based on areas of comparative advantage, they will rapidly expand wealth for their people.

“With such increased wealth, they will be able to access capital markets and secure long-term financing to fast-track their growth and development.

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