Taxation and Income Inequality in Nigeria

John Obiora Anyaduba, Praise Oghenefejiro Otulugbu


The study examined taxation and income inequality (GINI), specifically, it determined the impact of Value Added Tax (VAT), Custom and Excise Duties (CED), Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Company Income Tax (CIT) on GINI in Nigeria from the year 1990 to 2016. The Cointegration and Error Correction Models (ECMs) were used to analyze the data. Augmented Dickey Fuller unit root was used to test for stationarity. Data were sourced from the Central Bank of Nigerian statistical bulletin, Federal Inland Revenue Service and the National Bureau of Statistics. The result revealed that VAT, CED and PPT had positive relationship with GINI when measured at 5% critical level, though VAT and CED were not significant. CIT had a negative but significant impact on GINI. Based on the findings, we conclude that only CIT was able to reduce income inequality. We therefore recommend that VAT should be imposed on goods and services consumed by high income earners. In respect of CED, government should address the level of tariffs; for PPT, there is need for adequate diversification of the economy; and for CIT, tax authority should harness corporate taxes to its fullness.

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