Nigeria’s taxation department has tracked down 700,000 firms that have never paid taxes.
The move is an attempt by the African oil producer to tap alternative sources so as to survive the economic difficulty caused by a reduction in oil prices.
According to Nigeria’s tax chief, the crackdown has allowed tax revenues to remain stable.
So basically in the last few months we have been able to add about 700,000 companies and we expect to add about ten million individuals across the nation with the support of the state boards of internal revenue,” the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler said.
A new tax unit created at the start of the year had deployed inspectors with laptops to update data bases, register businesses and individuals who are tracked to ensure they are up to date with their tax payments.
The move has received criticism from business executives who complain about aggressive visits from tax inspectors.
Nigeria’s economy is experiencing a recession and the situation has been made worse by militant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.