As oil accounts for 94 per cent of Nigeria’s export revenue and with slump in the international price of crude oil, Federal Government’s revenue has been predicted to decline further by 21-25% in the first quarter of 2015.
The Managing Director, Financial Derivatives, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, while delivering a keynoted address at a seaside breakfast meeting organised by Remita in Lagos with the topic: “Declining Revenues: Time for new Ideas”, he said trade surplus was declining due to current oil price trend.
He explained that EIU projects a decline of over $10.5billion to $27.5bn in 2015 which will lead the current account balance to decline by 75per cent ($3.9b).
Rewane noted that decline in prices of other commodity was unlikely to cushion the effect of lower oil exports on the balance of trade with its attendant bleak economic consequences, calling on government to block leakages in the economy.
He said that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the tools that can be used to increase tax revenue collection.
He said that ICT has the potential to transform tax revenue collection and improve services to tax payers.
Rewane listed procedure for ICT utilisation to include accessible services, at no cost, to the taxpayer, incentives to encourage compliance, capacity building to develop expertise, strong communication campaigns to ensure acceptance and understanding and a phased implementation approach to enable gradual and controlled change.
He said that Nigeria was blessed with an indigenous firm like SystemSpecs with foresights to provide ICT tool for effective cash management.
Rewane disclosed that Remita was into e-Payments, e-invoicing, e-collections, e-payroll, and e-schedules solution on a single multibank platform to deepen CBN cashless policy.
Also, the Chairman, Board of Directors, SystemSpects, Dr. Christopher Kolade, represented by Mr. Emmanuel Ocholi, Director, SystemSpecs, said Nigeria needed to change the way payments were handled.
He said using ICT to respond to oil slump is what Remita stood for, adding: “The more efficient the payment system is, the better for the society. The level of financial inclusion has increased due to ICT, effective payment and settlement system is important at this time and the Nigerian economy stands to benefit from the economics of scale and ITC utilisation.”
Source: Daily Trust