1.0                   INTRODUCTION

1.1                    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

An operation becomes effective when it achieves the desired goal. It becomes efficient when the goal was achieved at a minimum cost. Policies are formulated to control functions so as to conform to desired target. Indeed, the economy of any given nation grows when the population growth is accompanied by positive net capital formation and the relationship between the latter and the growth of output is given by assumed constant incremental capital output ratio. Tax functions include:

  • To generate revenue for government to carry out its business,
  • To restrain consumption so that amount of investment needed for non inflationary growth can be undertaken
  • To do the above 2 in such a way that consumption of high income groups is restrained more proportionately, than consumption of the lower income groups. If these tasks are successfully performed, economic growth will take place and the distribution of income should be improved. These kind of taxes required in these cases are direct taxes, progressive expenditure taxes supported by gift taxes. Taxation, rather than natural resources, such as oil, ought to be the central instrument of state economic policy in Nigeria – as it is in truly modern democratic states, 1 Sven Steinmo (2011), Taxation and Democracy, New Haven.

          Tax, a compulsory levy imposed on taxable persons within a given domain or society by the authority that governs the same society has become an instrument of control and revenue generation in the hands of the authorities concerned. Historically, tax was invented to finance public projects like wars and provision of essential public infrastructures. Lord Keynes had it that tax policy is key to economic restructuring and development. Tax policy involves the determination of goals, objectives, strategies, priorities and frame work reflected in formally adopted tax planned document. Nigeria is much a consuming nation rather than a productive one. The Nigerian economy tends to mono economic one, heavily dependent on oil which is not even processed in Nigeria.

The Gross Domestic product and other economic indicators show Nigeria economy to be a weak one. The GDP though recently shown to be high cannot portray how well off Nigerian standard of living is, hence very negligible number of Nigerian live in affluence while much great percentage of the Nigerians living below poverty line. Such critical economic indicators like power supply, employment rate, inflation, mortality rate, etc. score Nigerian economy very low.

   There is low propensity to save, no clear future and hopelessness stare on the majority of Nigerian faces. The above suggests how weak Nigeria economy appears, though there appears significant improvement in the general economy recently. There is need for better economic planning. With proper economic planning the economy of Nigeria must boost. At the core of economic planning is effective and efficient tax policy. There are the raw materials, abundant human resources and abundant natural resources. Tax could restructure the economy of Nigerian when the functional tax policy is seen to be in place.


National Tax policy is seen as document which spelt out issues on tax, taxations and all matters concerning tax. 

Nigerian economy is slow at shaping up.  This is caused by domestic debts, high inflation, corruption, resulting in high poverty level. Business Eye.  Pg 22, 32 and 39 Sept. 2012

Revenue from personal and corporate tax contribute about ¾ of Federal Revenue, Samuelson (2002)

US Federal Budget Receipts from taxes amounts to 95% in 2003.  Hoffman, Smith, Willis (2004).

Former UN Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan, has said that tax avoidance and murky deals by major international firms are depriving African states of $10 billion each year, Abota, Sun Newspaper June 24th, 2013.

Money laundering and tax evasion have become a norm especially among the companies owned by Asian; in Nigeria – Sun Newspaper 28th June 2013 pg 19

Poor legal framework on the tax could bring about poor yield from tax. Absence of effective and efficient tax structure brings about low compliance to tax. Also poor accounting records and corruption could bring about poor yield from tax

 Low revenue contributions from tax as results of the above factors ultimately lead to Government not having enough money to finance its bills. This can directly result in low economic development. Functional national tax policy can go a long way in assisting Nigerian economy grow and meet the needs of Nigerians.


 The main objective of the study is to access the effectiveness and efficiency of the current Nigerian tax policy in resuscitating the Nigerian economy, vide its increased revenue generation which would provide revenue for Government to do its business. Other sub-themes in the objective are:

i. To evaluate the capacity of the new tax policy in significantly improving the growth/development of the Nigerian economy in relation to Gross Domestic Products.

ii.  To access the capacity of the new tax policy in increasing the revenue in relation to federal government demand for capital expenditure (for construction, health etc).

  1. To compare the compliance rate of the tax payer before and after the adoption of the new tax policy in Nigeria as would show in greater revenue generation to better the lives of the whole Nigerians.

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