SBM Intel Report: 98% of Nigerians operating in the informal economy pay taxes

The report has revealed that as much as 98% of Nigerians working within the casual financial system pay taxes every day, with some companies paying taxes three instances a day. In Lagos, as an illustration, some bus drivers pay as a lot as N3,000 a day in taxes to completely different teams.

Highlights of the report

  • 98% of Nigerians within the casual sector pay taxes.
  • 54% of Nigerians earn a every day earnings between N2100 and N5000 a day, and 38% earn 5000 and above.
  • These incomes N5000 and above a day embrace Bus drivers (52%), Open Market merchants (52%), Okada riders (48%), Hairdressers (33%), and Dressmakers (30%).
  • The bottom tax bracket (N2,400- N12,000 a yr) contains Okada riders (66%), Hairdressers (61%), and Vulcanizers (62%).
  • For yearly tax cost, 14% of drivers pay N36,000 and above, whereas 18% of bus drivers pay between N24,000 and N36,000 a yr.
  • In the most typical tax brackets per day for bus drivers, drivers in Lagos state (67%) pay N3,000 per day; Delta state (89%)  N2100-N3000 per day; Kano (92%)  N50-N200; and Oyo (77%)  N210-N500.
  • In case of default in tax cost, 50% of respondents revealed that their wares and tools received seized, 32% stated they received fined, 5% cited circumstances of arrest, whereas 13% stated they skilled circumstances of violence in the event that they defaulted on taxes.
  • The report additionally revealed completely different frequencies of funds, with 45% of respondents saying they paid taxes every day, 33% yearly, 17% month-to-month and 5% weekly. In the meantime on the frequency of every day funds, 63% stated as soon as a day, 19% twice a day, and 18% reported thrice a day or extra.

Teams paid to

Taxes had been predominantly obtained by 4 completely different teams, in line with the report — state governments, native governments, market organisations and unions.

39% of the respondents had been taxed by the native authorities, 30% stated they had been taxed by their unions. 16% of the taxes accrued to market organisations, whereas 15% of the taxes went to the state authorities.

“Our qualitative interviews revealed that a number of the contributors weren’t capable of inform which group collected taxes from them however merely needed to oblige due to the violent nature of the enforcement. We gathered that the majority these tax teams had used the companies of agberos (thugs) to gather the taxes which got here with numerous intimidation,” the report said.

It additionally added that 58% of respondents within the casual financial system paid to at least one group, 29% to 2 teams, and 9% to three teams.

“This factors to the a number of taxes that casual sector contributors pay. The placement of the casual sector contributors can be a figuring out issue close to the variety of teams they pay taxes to. For example, whereas the responses present that each one contributors in Bauchi paid taxes to just one group, there’s a important variety of respondents in Delta and Lagos who pay taxes to greater than three teams. Additionally, the kind of enterprise {that a} respondent is concerned in additionally determines the variety of tax collectors they could encounter,” they stated.

A number of taxations had been recorded throughout all of the enterprise sorts. There was no enterprise group that had not skilled a number of tax assortment by completely different teams.

On age demographics of the respondents, the bulk (67%) of respondents who participated within the research had been male. Each genders had been represented throughout all of the states. On the subject of respondents’ age, a majority (40%) had been between the ages of 26 and 35 years.

“This age group in line with the NBS had the second-highest unemployment fee of 37.2% within the fourth quarter of 2020,” they stated.

The primary classes of casual enterprise contributors lined within the survey had been Open market merchants (30%), Bus drivers (18%), dressmakers (16%), Okada (motorcycle-taxi) riders (15%), Hairdressers (14%) and Vulcanizers (7%).

SBM said that research findings revealed that the tax base of Nigeria is way bigger than thought, however a lot of it’s within the casual sector. They added that because of the casual nature of the companies, a lot of the taxes aren’t captured in any official information at state or federal stage, reflecting the lack of the state to correctly undertaking itself, leaving the door open for different actors to come back in and safe relevance.

“When Nigerians are requested why they don’t pay tax, they are saying it’s as a result of they get no companies from the federal government. Nonetheless, the entities that acquire numerous levies from bus drivers, okada riders, hairdressers and vulcanisers, don’t ship a lot by way of advantages both.

“Because of this the capability of state and federal governments to implement tax assortment, is straight proportional to their skill to implement penalties for tax default,” they concluded.


Nigeria’s directors must formalize and strengthen insurance policies that transfer commerce from casual to formal sectors of the financial system. Based on a 2018 IMF report, as of 2016, Nigeria solely had 56,329 company taxpayers accounting for firm earnings tax. The report added that, in line with knowledge on particular person taxes, solely 16.7% of Nigeria’s economically energetic inhabitants paid taxes, with about 80% attributed to the casual sector.

Formalising the casual financial system will draw extra Nigerians into the tax internet and supply the federal government with a better income pool to fund improvement initiatives nationwide.

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