Niger has a population of over 18 million people, most of whom live in the southeastern part of the country, along the river Niger. It is West-Africa’s largest nation and one of the poorest countries in the world, placed 187 out of 187 on the UNDP’s Human Development Index.
In 2013 its GDP was estimated at 7.41 Billion USD with an annual growth rate of around 4%. The Government debt amounted to 17.7% of the GDP in that same year. The overall tax-to-GDP rate was around 26.3% in 2013.
Its economy relies mostly on agriculture and livestock. Niger is a country functioning mainly on external funds which also undermines national investment.
The tax system is an inherited system dating back to colonial times. Tax payers only know little about it and are not sufficiently mobilized to claim their rights. High levels of corruption and various tax exemptions to big companies have only exacerbated the already poor functioning of the tax system, which leads to increased inequalities, a lack of social trust, weak citizen participation and difficulties for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) which want to enter the market.

CRAFT Country Strategy

Research highlighted that Niger’s tax system is unfair and also poorly understood by tax payers. Tax administration staff is weak in terms of size and efficiency and corruption is on the rise. The most important problem highlighted is the double taxation system that does not benefit the country. Investigating how communities can mobilize taxes and address basic social service issues is also recommended.
Training provided by ROTAB (Network of Organizations for Transparency and Budget Analysis) contributed to a better understanding of work time and paid work, which are areas where women are generally undervalued and discriminated.

Strategy 2015-2018

One of the main concerns is an increased budget for basic social services, and hence, the efficiency of Niger’s tax system should be further analyzed. Further research should also diagnose problems and solutions to improve the financial system in increasing investment and promoting equality. More studies should be done concerning mining taxation and some actions should be taken in terms of gender equality.
People are willing to pay as long as it serves for constructing infrastructures and ensuring a better transparency and accountability of the government. To guarantee that, there is a need to train local elected officials, create public forums and stimulate media attention and citizen mobilization.
Finally, some alliances will be sought, such as alliances between trade unions in tax sectors, authorities, local elected officials, customs, the Treasury, the Judiciary Association, and the Bar Association. At the international level, strategic alliances can be developed with organizations interested in this field such as Tax Justice Network – International (TJN-I), PWYP or International Budget Partnership (IBP). Working together with other stakeholders in a fair taxation network would amplify the impact of our work.