Nigerian Tax Research Network (NTRN)

Image credit: © Rhiannon McCluskey, Rhiannon McCluskey

Discover the NTRN Library here: www.eldis.org/ntrn   

The NTRN is dedicated to enhancing the generation and exchange of tax knowledge in Nigeria. It is concerned with all topics related to taxation, ranging from tax policy to tax administration, and from academic papers to practical case studies. Stakeholders include tax practitioners and researchers from Nigerian and international institutions, as well as donors and civil society organisation working on tax issues in Nigerian.

The main objectives of the NTRN are to:

  1. Provide a platform for knowledge exchange and evidence-based debate on tax issues, through workshops, conferences, and publications.
  2. Support the production of high-quality, policy-relevant research, especially that led and undertaken by Nigerian researchers, by providing funding and capacity development.
  3. Facilitate coordination and complementarity between existing projects and actors active in the area of taxation in Nigeria.

The NTRN is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and coordinated by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The Chair of the NTRN is Mrs Ifueko M. Omoigui Okauru. The Research Coordinator is Dr Olly Owen and the Network Coordinator is Michael Falade.

The NTRN was formally launched on 12-14th of September at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja. The ICTD has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which includes cooperation on the NTRN.

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ntrn@ictd.ac

News and Events:

December 2019
news
Researchers and policymakers gather to discuss tax and technology in Nigeria

On December 5 and 6th, members and stakeholders of the Nigerian Tax Research Network are gathered in Abuja for the Network’s third annual meeting on the theme “Revenue challenges online and offline: Bridging the digital divide in an analogue economy.” The theme of the meeting touches on several important issues. First is the ongoing work…

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Publications:

Small Business Owners and Corporate Tax Responsibility in Nigeria: An Exploratory Study
by Kenneth Amaeshi, Bongo Adi & Godson Ikiebey

This study explores how small business owners talk about their tax responsibility, especially in non-enabling institutional contexts. It identifies two main types of tax responsibility discourses amongst these business owners: (1) duty-based and (2) rights-based. The duty-based talks see taxation primarily as the citizens’ responsibility to governments, which should always be fulfilled unconditionally, while rights-based…

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Nigeria: No longer an oil state?
by Sarah Burns & Olly Owen

While there is much speculation about Nigeria’s probably post-oil future, it is in fact already a present reality: In 2015, for the first time since 1971, Nigeria’s public finances had already earned more from non-oil sources than from oil revenues. The transformation to a post-oil future is already in the past.

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July 2019
The Economics of Tobacco Control in Nigeria: Modelling the Fiscal and Health Effects of a Tobacco Excise Tax Change
by Precious C. Akanonu, Joseph Ishaku & Chukwuka Onyekwena

This paper examines the potential for changes in the tobacco tax to contribute to raising government revenues, reducing tobacco use, and improving public health in Nigeria. Specifically, it estimates the impact of a change in the excise tax structure and level on cigarette consumption, government revenue, smoking prevalence, net-of-tax (NOT) revenue, and the excise tax…

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Hidden Inequalities: Tax Challenges of Market Women in Enugu and Kaduna States, Nigeria
by Imaobong Akpan & Kas Sempere

This paper explores how tax collection is experienced differently by female and male market traders in two Nigerian states. Based on a survey of 451 market traders in 12 markets and ethnographic research in four markets, two main findings emerged from the study – the benefits of having female tax collectors to reduce incidences of…

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Small Businesses and the Adoption of the Integrated Tax Administration System in Nigeria
by Uchenna Efobi, Ibukun Beecroft & Tanankem Belmondo with Amelia Katan

Transitioning to an electronic system for tax administration and collection is a welcome development in countries that have hitherto faced difficulty in raising tax revenue. Countries like those in sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, account for about 16 percent of GDP from tax revenue, while Nigeria records 1.48 percent of its GDP from tax revenue (World…

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Hidden Inequalities: Tax Challenges of Market Women in Enugu and Kaduna States, Nigeria
by Imaobong Akpan & Kas Sempere

This paper presents the findings of a study on gender-based taxation differences among market traders in two Nigerian states. At a high level, no significant differences were found between female and male traders in the markets visited in terms of tax payments, payments for market services and tax increases. However, a closer look at the…

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Small Business Use of the Integrated Tax Administration System in Nigeria
by Uchenna Efobi, Ibukun Beecroft & Tanankem Belmondo with Amelia Katan

Our research explores the factors that drive the ways in which small business owners perceive and use the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) in Nigeria. We surveyed nearly 500 small businesses. We apply logistic regression analysis to the survey data to determine which among a range of factors – relating to the ownership of businesses,…

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Acceptability of e-Filing of Taxes by Micro-Entrepreneurs in Northwestern Nigeria
by Abdulsalam Mas’ud

With the first implementation of e-filing by the US in 1986, many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa followed suit. E-filing for certain tax payments was introduced at the federal level in Nigeria in 2013. However, none of the State Boards of Internal Revenue in Northwest Nigeria have made the system available for the collection…

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April 2019
Acceptability of e-Filing of Taxes by Micro-Entrepreneurs in Northwestern Nigeria
by Abdulsalam Mas'ud

E-filing for some kinds of tax payments was introduced at the federal level in Nigeria in 2013, yet it has not been made available by state government for the collection of Personal Income Tax from micro-entrepreneurs – a major source of revenue. This research was designed to investigate the acceptability of e-filing to micro-entrepreneurs in…

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Integrating Tax Challenges of Local Market Traders in International Tax Justice Campaigns
by Kas Sempere

This research in brief is a summary of ICTD Working Paper 80 by Kas Sempere. In the broad sense, ‘tax justice’ explores pro-poor and redistributive tax systems able to reduce inequality. It involves a transparent process of pro-poor collection (those who have less, pay less) and pro-poor expenditure (those who have less, receive more), for…

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Blogs:

November 2019
by Marijn Verhoeven & Wilson Prichard

The government of Kaduna State, Nigeria, has been working to increase tax collection by broadening the tax base, investing in technology and modernisation, and implementing large-scale policy and administrative reform. These efforts have substantially improved the business environment and increased revenue collection. Yet, there is still significant room to boost voluntary tax compliance. At the…

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August 2019
by Uzochukwu Uchechukwu Alutu

Nigeria’s dependence on oil Nigeria relies more on oil than it does on direct taxes or any other forms of revenue to run its economy. Since discovering oil in 1956, Nigeria has become heavily reliant on oil revenue for survival – in the boom period preceding the 2014 oil price plummet (2010 – 2013), the…

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March 2019
by Neil McCulloch & Tom Moerenhout

Nigeria’s performance on collected taxes is poor. Non-oil revenue in the country is around 3-4 percent of GDP, far below countries such as South Africa and Brazil where non-oil revenues lie between 20 and 25 percent of their GDP – or other peers in sub-Saharan Africa who typically collect more than 10 percent of GDP…

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Research Projects:

Current Project
Estimating the Impact of Tax or Price Measures on Tobacco Smoking Onset and Cessation
Project Researchers: Precious Akanonu

It is widely recognized that price or tax measure is an effective way to reduce the demand for tobacco products. However, the body of empirical evidence investigating the smoking onset and cessation find mixed evidence for developed countries (Douglas, 1998; Forster & Jones, 2001; Guindon, 2014), and evidence is scant for low-and middle-income countries (LMICs)…

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Current Project
The Collateral Effects of Evictions on Property Tax Morale: Class, Preferences and Signals from the State
Project Researchers: Lily Tsai, Leah Rosenzweig & Nicole Wilson

How do government actions toward the poor influence other citizens’ perceptions of the government? Does making citizens aware of forced evictions – used by the government in the name of development – reduce their willingness to invest in the capacity of the government by paying taxes? We seek to build upon our 2018 pilot survey…

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Current Project
The link between tax revenue allocation and tax morale in Nigeria
Project Researchers: Tom Moerenhout, IISD, Belinda Archibong & Evans Osabuohien

The proposed research will answer three research questions: (1) Do regions that have historically received more tax revenue have better tax morale? (2) What type of tax allocation in the form of public service provision increases tax morale? (3) Can oil producing regions turn the use of revenue from the 13% fund into higher tax…

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Current Project
The Role of Information About Peer Behaviour on Tax Compliance in Nigeria: An Experimental Study
Project Researchers: Adedeji Adeniran, Joseph Ishaku, Precious Akanonu & Chukwuka Onyekwena

Domestic revenue mobilization is a priority for many SSA countries. Yet, low tax compliance constitutes a major challenge to this drive. Improving tax compliance will require an understanding of the underlying factors influencing a taxpayer’s decision to either pay taxes or not. However, little is known about tax compliance behaviour in most SSA countries; insights…

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Current Project
Formalization, Tax Appeals, and Social Intermediaries in Lagos, Nigeria
Project Researchers: Jessica Gottlieb, Adrienne LeBas, Janica Magat & Nonso Obikili

One of the foremost challenges to state-building in weak states is the collection of sufficient revenue for the government to supply public goods. If weak states seek to expand the size of their tax base and the overall revenue collected, can improved information or other appeals boost pro-tax attitudes and formal tax compliance? This project…

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Past Project
Subsidy Perceptions in Nigeria
Project Researchers: Neil McCulloch

This project aims to understand what Nigerians think about fuel subsidies and their attitudes towards their reform, reduction or removal. It will draw on a new nationally representative survey of perceptions about taxes and subsidies in Nigeria. The analysis will show the characteristics associated with support for and opposition to subsidy reform. It will then…

Project Outputs

Blog
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Past Project
Maximizing Revenue Generation from an Amnesty Program: Evidence from the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme in Nigeria
Project Researchers: Oyebola M. Okunogbe

This project examines how technology and third party information can be harnessed to promote tax compliance in the context of an amnesty program. Nigeria’s ongoing amnesty program, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) is a time-limited opportunity for taxpayers to declare their previously undeclared assets and income for tax purposes. To avoid moral…

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Past Project
Economic and Political Consequences of Revenue Composition across States in Nigeria
Project Researchers: Oyebola M. Okunogbe

The recent crash in oil prices and subsequent economic crisis has highlighted the grave consequences that are associated with Nigeria’s heavy dependence on oil revenue and its low tax base. While this pattern is well known for the country, there is limited evidence on the state-by-state variation in oil dependence and economic outcomes. This study…

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Past Project
Acceptance of e-Tax Filling by Micro-entrepreneurs in North-Western Nigeria
Project Researchers: Dr. Abdulsalam Mas'ud, Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic

Nigerian tax-to-GDP ratio has been deteriorating from 7% in 2013 to 6% in 2017, which is far below the generally acceptable threshold of 15%; possibly due to lack of filing tax return by over 65% of the registered taxpayers. Hence, e-tax filling was introduced to improve tax administration efficiency. Notwithstanding, Nigerian tax system remains the…

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Past Project
Bridging the gap between tax avoidance and compliance: can the framing of tax as a responsible business practice help?
Project Researchers: Bongo Adi, Lagos Business School, Kenneth Amaeshi, University of Edinburgh & Godson Ikiebey, ESG Advisory

Why do firms engage in aggressive corporate tax planning and tax avoidance? (How) can self-regulation, through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), complement public regulation in minimising the negative impacts of aggressive corporate tax planning and tax avoidance on government tax revenues? These questions bring to the fore the tension between tax illegitimacy and legality, which can…

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