The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), through its acting Director-General, Mary Uduk, has pledged to support Project Lighthouse, an initiative by the Federal Government.
Uduk made known the Commission’s support when the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed inaugurated the steering committee for the initiative.
Uduk stressed the need for government agencies to collaborate. She said she believes that this collaboration will drive revenue generation.
Why this is important: According to Uduk, low revenue generation is a source of worry as it will be difficult for the government to provide critical infrastructure that will encourage investment in the country.
“It is clear that data and information will certainly aid the generation of more revenue and in the long run, all agencies will be better for it as there will be more resources for the government to carry out development.
“Data gathering and sharing is the way to go, especially in this digital age, as when there is available data, information can be shared and that will increase compliance level as well as improve revenue generation.” -Uduk
What is Project Lighthouse? This is a government initiative that entails using advanced data mining and analytics techniques to identify tax defaulters, establish their tax liabilities and send notifications to appropriate authorities for necessary action.
As at June 2018, the initiative, which aggregates data from multiple sources such as bank accounts, land registry records, company registration data, tax filings, Customs records and asset ownership records, has identified a batch of over 130,000 high net worth individuals and companies whose tax records are not up to date due to detected underpayments.
Meanwhile, the minister of finance had just set up the steering committee for Project Lighthouse.
The Committee is chaired by the Minister with the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties at the Ministry, Dr. MK Dikwa, as Deputy Chair.
More so, the Presidential Initiatives for Continuous Audit (PICA) and Department of Technical Services at the ministry would serve as the secretariat of the Project Lighthouse.