The European Union (EU) ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS , Micheal Arrion, has explained why EU cannot promise further financial assistance to Nigeria.
The envoy made this known at a lecture which the IBB Golf Club organised in Abuja on Thursday.
The lecture had as its theme: ‘40 years of European Union in Nigeria: Lessons learned and the way forward’.
He, however, pledged that the union would brace up its efforts towards the country’s institutional, political and economic development for a more prosperous future.
According to him, the official development assistance (ODA) flow in Nigeria is about $2.5 billion yearly, which corresponds roughly to about 10 percent of the federal budget (N7,3trillion or $24 billion).
This, he said has raised the question if the EU should continue to give aide to Nigeria.
“We are not offering more financial support, we are proposing more political and policy dialogue, technical assistance, capacity building, training, transfer of technology.
“We also proposing more advocates for more private investments and other innovative sources of funding”, he said.
The envoy, therefore, called for improvement in tax collection to finance the development of the country.
According to him, Nigeria must find alternative funding to ODA including improved tax collection which must be improved at least five times more and also spend better.
Quoting Price Water Cooper (PwC 2016), he said: “Nigeria collects about N5.5 trillion or 18 billion dollars per year.
“About 10 million people (10 percent of adult population) are registered for personal income tax (half of them in Lagos).The rate of VAT compliance by registered entities is about 12 per cent. The rate is lower for corporate income tax nine per cent.”
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