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How FIRS raised N500bn in June – Fowler

By Emmanuel Elebeke,

Chairman, Joint Tax Board, JTB and Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler,  has disclosed  how the Federal Government raised over N500 billion allocated at the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, in June.

Tunde Fowler
Tunde Fowler

Of  the total sum, the JTB Chairman said that 70 percent came from non-oil sources while only 30 percent came from oil sources.

Recall that it was the first time in 2016 that the Federal Government shared over N500bn among the three tiers of government during the Federal Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.

Fowler, who spoke yesterday, in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, whe led 36 state Chairmen of the State Boards of Internal Revenue, SBIRs to the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, boasted that time has come for the country to fund her budget through non-oil sector.

His words:  “We are proud of the development and we tell ourselves that this is the time to fund the budget of the Federal Government from non-oil sources.”

Declaring the  135th Meeting of the JTB open at Park Inn hotel, State Governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, said commended the FIRS and other revenue generating agencies for the unprecedented drive they exhibited in the month of June and charged them to sustain the tempo.

“Whatever you, Customs and others did last month that ensured that we  ( Federal, States, shared over N500 billion at FAAC—(the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee.), please continue to do it. It is good for the Federal Government. It is good for states. It is good for Local Governments. It is good for the nation,’’ said the governor.

Also speaking, Fowler noted that FIRS  tax revenue collection is seasonal, but a combination of massive new taxpayer registration drive,  tax education and engagement through the establishment of the Federal Engagement and Enlightenment Tax Teams, FEETT, audit of five key sectors: banks and the financial sector, aviation, power, telecoms  and oil and gas is beginning to yield result.

He said that FIRS has also added over 700,000 new corporate accounts in since he assumed office.

Nigeria, he said has a cumulative figure of 10 million registered taxpayers if you add the number of taxpayers of States Boards of Internal Revenue and the FIRS.

Mr. Fowler said JTB has given itself a target to register at least 10 million additional taxpayers by December 31st 2016.

“We have commenced tax enforcement too. We are happy that the efforts of the FIRS in collaboration with revenue stakeholders are already yielding positive result.

The FIRS Chairman said the FIRS and the SBIR had identified collaboration to register more taxpayers, across states, data sharing, exchange of information, joint audits to improve efficiency and tax yields from audits, capacity building through joint training programmes and exchange of personnel.

Fowler saluted the Ogun State Governor for being the first State governor to approve FIRS’ request on automated deduction and remittance of Value Added Tax and Witholding Tax, from the point of payments to contractors in states.

“Pursuant to implementing the collaboration framework, FIRS requested for an approval of State Executive Governors to allow automation of the process of payments on taxable transactions to enhance the deduction, at source, particularly of Withholding Tax and Value Added Tax. It is important to note and acknowledge that the Executive Governor of Ogun State was the first to acknowledge and approved the implementation of the process. I thank His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, for demonstration of his total support towards our effort of making the Nigerian tax system for efficient,” he said.

Fowler also praised Governor Amosun’s efforts on Internally Generated Revenue, IGR and in transforming the Ogun state Board of Internal Revenue, adding that “We have come to basically to discuss the issue of revenue. We monitor the performance of every state and we appreciate the excellent revenue performance of Ogun State. Ogun State is Number One.

“It is on record that the State annual IGR grew by 50 per cent in the year 2015, thereby making the Ogun State occupy the 4th position in performance collection rating of states and first in IGR growth. I therefore urge the Service not to relent in IGR efforts and continue to work hard to justify the encouragement received by the State Government.’’

Governor Amosun said the ability of the Federal Government to collect more than N500 billion last month shows that Nigeria can generate more if everyone is determined to explore other sources of revenue apart from oil.

Continuing, he said, “it has come to a point we should say, okay, let us leave oil aside. Let us face non-oil sources. This is the first time in the recent times, the Federal Government shared the excess of N500 billion and 70 percent of that sum came from non-oil sources. That means that we can do more if we are determined.  All hands must be on deck to grow our tax revenue. We must find a way of bringing the rich people into the tax net.”

“Yes, Ogun State can pay salaries as at when due and we have been able to do some projects. We did not depend on the Federal Allocation to do that. However, we must continue to work together with the Joint Tax Board till every state will be able to pay salaries and be comfortable,” said the Governor.

The Joint Tax Board is the umbrella body for State and Federal tax authorities in Nigeria and was established in 1961 to promote uniformity and harmonisation of Personal Income Tax Administration across the country.





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