Lagos - Nigeria says it has hunted down at least 700 000 firms that have never paid taxes, in a bid to seek new revenue sources to compensate for low oil prices that have pushed Africa’s biggest economy into its first recession in more than 20 years.
Executive Chairperson of Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, said that he also expected 10 million individuals to be discovered by December so they could pay taxes for the first time, ThisDay reported.
Nigeria economy was currently suffering as crude production, which provided 70% of government revenues, had been hit by militant attacks that have blown up many pipelines.
"We collected a little over 2.3 trillion, so far – from January to 31 August. It is almost at par with last year but take into consideration that the economy is going through a little slowdown," Fowler was quoted as saying.
According to BBC, Fowler said there were plans to twin tougher enforcement with a waiver on interest and penalties for the period 2012 - 2015.
"We will give them a 45-day window to come forward and register and that will make them eligible for that waiver," he was quoted as saying.
The government, struggling to fund a record 6.06 trillion naira ($18.6 billion) 2016 budget that aimed to stimulate growth by tripling capital expenditure, set FIRS a target of raising 4.95 trillion naira in taxes, up from 3.73 trillion last year.