Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, says the federal government has no intention of increasing taxes.
In a statement signed by Akpandem James, Udoma’s media adviser, the minister said the government is working towards broadening its tax revenue base.
According to the statement, Udoma made the clarification while responding to a comment by Ben Bruce, a senator, at a public hearing of the joint session of the national assembly on the 2017 budget.
“A view has been expressed that we should not increase taxes, that we should broaden tax collection instead, that is precisely what is in the budget,” he said.
“There is no increase in VAT, there is no increase in company’s income tax, there is no increase at all in taxes, but people who are not paying taxes must be made to pay.
“So the idea is to increase revenue by broadening the tax base, not by increasing taxes.’’
The statement said Bruce had given the impression that the federal government was about to increase taxes, a development that he said would further worsen the economic fortunes of individuals and businesses.
While speaking on the economic recovery and growth plan, Udoma said government consulted with the private sector extensively on the plan.
He said the government had a clear vision and is determined path to get the economy out of recession.
“We are determined, thereafter, to begin to go back to the path of growth, a more diversified growth, not depending just on crude oil,” he said.
“We want to stimulate our manufacturing sector, we want to stimulate agriculture; so we have a coherent, cohesive plan.”