Political economy of Nigeria’s digital tax experiment

By Emma Ujah,  Abuja Bureau Chief


Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it collected the sum of  N438 billion from the non-oil sector July 2020, representing about 89.4 percent of the N490 billion total revenue collected in the month.

Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, disclosed this at a meeting of the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed with members of the FIRS Board, according to a statement by the Director, Communications and Liaison, Dr. Abdullahi Ahmad, yesterday.

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Nami attributed the increase in the non-oil sector receipt to reform measures introduced by the FIRS board and management as well as the renewed vigour in the service workforce.

According to him, non-oil tax receipts have consistently contributed between 75 and 90 percent of total tax revenue in recent months.

The FIRS boss disclosed that out of the N490 billion collected by the Service in July, only N52 billion was from the oil sector with the rest coming in through non-oil receipts.

  He commended the minister for her support to FIRS and its Board since their inauguration earlier in the year and solicited closer working relationship between the Service and her ministry.

In her response, the minister commended the management and board of the FIRS for working to limit the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on government revenue through their proactive reforms.

FIRS’s efforts, she noted, made it possible for the three tiers of government to receive their monthly statutory allocations from the federation account, at a time oil revenue collapsed.

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