Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men has urged the Nigerian government to gain credibility with the people to ensure more taxes are paid, so the country can raise its revenue mobilisation to the same level as others.
The co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), added that the country still has some of the smallest tax-to-GDP ratios anywhere in the world.
Speaking via a teleconference recently, he said:
“One challenge that Nigeria has is that the amount of money that the government raises domestically is quite small compared to other countries. ”
“A lot of countries at that level will be rising closer to 15 percent of GDP and Nigeria is one of the lowest in the world down at about 6 percent. And so, it is a huge challenge that when you want to fund infrastructure, health, education, all those things, that over time the tax collection, the domestic resources are going to have to go up quite a bit.
“That’s a long-term effort and I think partly by making sure the current resources are spent well like on primary health care, you gain the credibility that the citizens will say, okay, we want more of these things.
“If we don’t raise the quality, you can get into a trap where they don’t feel like paying the taxes actually has that much impact, and so they’re not supportive of that.”