President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians to pay their taxes promptly to enable the government meet its revenue targets for the 2021.
President Buhari made the appeal while signing the 2021 appropriation bill recently passed by the National Assembly into law in Abuja on Thursday.
“I also appeal to our fellow citizens and the business community, at large, to fulfill their tax obligations promptly,” the President said.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, the President revealed that the Federal Government achieved “89.9%” implementation of the 2020 budget despite the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant economic disruptions.
“In spite of the adverse impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the nation’s economy and the Government’s revenues, we have made appreciable progress in the implementation of the 2020 Budget. As at December 2020, we had released about One-point-Seven-Four-Eight Trillion Naira (N1.748 trillion) out of a total of the One-Point-Nine-Six-Two Trillion Naira (N1.962 trillion) voted for the implementation of critical capital projects, representing a performance of about Eight-Nine-Point-One Percent (89.1%).
“The overall performance of the 2020 Budget currently stands at an impressive rate of Ninety-Seven-point-Seven Percent (97.7%). This commendable outcome underscores the importance of our efforts, together with the Legislature, to return to the discipline of a January-to-December fiscal year. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning will provide further details on the 2020 Budget’s performance, in due course,” the President said.
Buhari, however, hinged the success of the 2021 budget on the ability of the government revenue generating agencies’ ability to meet their targets and remit all revenues on time. He warned that heads of revenue generating agencies that defaults or delays will be “sanctioned.”
He said: “We are intensifying our domestic revenue mobilization efforts so that we can have adequate resources to fund the 2021 Budget. Revenue Generating Agencies, and indeed all Ministries, Departments and Government-Owned Enterprises, must work very hard to achieve their revenue targets, control their cost-to-revenue ratios, as well as ensure prompt and full remittance of revenue collections.
“Relevant Agencies are to ensure the realization of our crude oil production and export targets. Heads of defaulting Agencies are hereby warned that they will be severely sanctioned.”
The President signed the 2021 appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly without any of the usual complain of budgets padding even as the National Assembly jerked up the budget by N500 billion on the day of the budget passage.
A total of Thirteen-Point- Five- Eight-Eight trillion Naira (N13.588 trillion) was signed into law by the President.