- Foreign trade drops to N6.56tn in Q2
Obinna Chima in Lagos and James Emejo in Abuja
The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, thursday disclosed that the federal government realised N3.5 trillion from various taxes in the first eight months of 2018.
This was N1 trillion higher, compared with the N2.5 trillion generated by the country same period in 2017.
Fowler disclosed this just as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade dropped to N6.56 trillion in the second quarter of the year (Q2 2018),
representing a contraction by 8.89 per cent, compared with the N7.21 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter.
The FIRS boss while speaking at a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, stressed that oil revenue was unsustainable, just as he reiterated the need to focus on ways to ramp up the country’s non-oil revenue.
“If you look at 2018 revenue till date, between January and August, we have done N3.5 trillion, which was N1 trillion higher than the amount realised over same period in 2017.
“You can clearly see that even at current prices, the oil revenue tax cannot fund our nation. The only way to have a high level of tax compliance is to focus on the non-oil.
“A component of the non-oil happens to be Value Added Tax (VAT) and we have found that a number of business collect VAT and don’t remit it,” Fowler said.
He also said the FIRS had commenced the audit of taxpayers across the country.
Fowler said the nationwide audit would ensure increased tax revenue collection, improved service delivery to taxpayers and enhanced voluntary compliance, while calling on stakeholders to support efforts to reposition tax administration system in the country.
“I also want to announce that we now have a consolidated database of all taxpayers in Nigeria under the Joint Tax Board (JTB).
“We just concluded it and before the end of September, it will be made available to all state internal revenue services and other government agencies like Immigration and Customs. It will be available for tax administration,” he added.
The FIRS boss said all tax laws that were not in the interest of the taxpayers are already undergoing a process of review and that taxpayers and stakeholders must support tax authorities in the interest of the nation’s development.
“The greatest challenge for any tax administration is achieving and maintaining a high degree of self-assessment and voluntary compliance by taxpayers.
“Studies however show that the extent to which an economy is able to grow sustainably and develop depends to a large extent on its ability to generate tax revenue to finance its expenditure and the efficiency of its tax system,” he said.
At the event, some of the stakeholders raised concerns regarding the number of taxes and levies being collected and levied by different government agencies which were mostly not remitted completely.
The forum had in attendance, representatives from Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), labour unions, tax consultants, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other private sector operators.
Nigeria’s Foreign Trade Drops
Meanwhile, in its Foreign Trade Statistics for Q2 which was released thursday, the NBS attributed the contraction to the decline in both imports and exports in the review period.
However, the country posted a surplus of N2.35 trillion, representing 8.36 per cent increase compared to N2.17 trillion in Q1 in its trade balance for the period under assessment.
Total imports stood at N2.11 trillion indicating a -16.3 per cent decrease compared to N2.51 trillion in Q1.
On the other hand, total exports amounted to N4.46 trillion, indicating a contraction of -4.9 per cent compared to the N4.69 trillion posted in Q1.
Crude oil accounted for 83.5 per cent of total trade while non-oil exports accounted for only 4.3 per cent of total exports.
Nonetheless, exports accounted for 67 per cent of total trade, the NBS stated.
India and China remained the country’s major trading partners in terms of export and import destinations with trade values of 16.19 per cent and 25.28 per cent respectively.
The value of imported agricultural goods stood at N224.52 billion, showing an increase by 21.7 per cent compared to N184.49 billion Q1.
Raw materials imports totalled N261.10 billion, a decline of -8.3 percent compared to N284.81 billion in Q1.
The value of manufactured goods imported in the review period was N1.17 trillion, representing a decline of -1.2 percent over the preceding quarter which stood at N1.18 trillion.
However, the value of exported agricultural goods in Q2 stood at N85.90 billion, representing a 17.3 per cent rise when compared to N73.24 billion in Q1 and 127.3 percent higher than the value recorded in Q2, 2017 which stood at N37.79 billion.
Crude oil exports totalled N3.72 trillion, representing 4.2 per cent increase from N3.57 trillion in Q1 and 53.7 per cent higher than the N2.42 trillion in Q2 2017.
Other oil products exports was valued at N516.32 billion, indicating a decline of 3.6 per cent in relation to the N535.68 billion recorded in Q1 and a 0.8 per cent growth from the value recorded in Q2, 2017 at N512.41 billion.
The value of exported manufactured goods in Q2 stood at N69.86 billion, representing a significant decline of -83.9 per cent compared to N434.37 billion in Q1 and higher by 0.9 percent when compared to N69.26 billion in Q2 2017.
Also, raw material exports value dropped by -2.98 per cent in Q2 to N31.72 billion compared to N32.70 billion in Q1 while solid minerals exports value dropped to N19.93 billion or -25.98 per cent lower than the N26.92 billion in Q1.
The value of Energy goods exports stood at N10.99 billion or 5.8 per cent higher than the N10.39 billion posted in the preceding quarter.