Economy

Bring informal sector to tax net to boost revenue, says don

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Bring informal sector to tax net to boost revenue, says don

By Simon Akoje

A university professor, Prof Bright Eregha, urged the federal government to bring the informal sector into the tax net to increase revenue and reduce borrowing.

Eregha, professor of macroeconomics at the School of Management and Social Sciences at Pan-Atlantic University, said this Tuesday in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Lagos.

He spoke against the background of the increasing profile of the country’s total debt.

Recall that figures released by the Debt Management Bureau (DMO) on June 9 showed that the country’s total debt stock increased by 191 billion naira in the first quarter of 2021.

The DMO said the outstanding debt rose to 33.107 trillion naira at the end of March 2021, from 32.916 billion naira in December 2020.

He said the country’s external debt had been reduced, however, due to Nigeria’s buyback of the $ 500 million euro bond in January.

The Debt Office said: “The total public debt stock, which includes the debt stock of the federal government of Nigeria, 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, stood at 33,107 Trillion naira or $ 87.239 billion. “

According to him, integrating the informal sector into the tax base will strengthen public revenue and reduce the need to borrow more.

“The government needs to start considering tapping into the informal sector to meet its statutory obligations.

“The potential of the sector, when properly used, would change the country’s income situation,” he said.

Eregha stressed the need for the government to explore technology in tax collection to reduce leakage.

He added that political office holders need to be careful with more debt coming from new borrowing.

“Our leaders across all three levels of government should be more careful not to allow our nation to enter a debt crisis.

“As we must strive to keep a better managed economy for our children. (NAA)

(NAN)

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