INTERNATIONAL - Nigeria plans to increase value-added tax on goods, the finance minister said, as Africa’s biggest oil exporter seeks to reduce its reliance on crude sales.
Zainab Ahmed, addressing journalists late on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting, said the government proposed raising VAT next year to 7.2 percent - up from 5 percent. The current level is one of the lowest in the world.
The planned rise must be approved by parliament before it can become law.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has repeatedly said it wants to boost non-oil revenues since oil sales make up 90% of foreign exchange receipts. Raising more money from taxes has proved difficult in a country where so many small business are not registered.
Ahmed said the cabinet approved the proposed VAT rise when it met on Wednesday.