”We humbly invite the President to step-in to dissuade political tax gladiators to sheath their swords.”
The appeal was made by the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, at the Tax Dialogue today, March 29 in Abuja.
Nami agreed however that tax revenue has always been an inherently apolitical issue, saying that it should be treated as such by all, irrespective of their political leaning.
”However, it is surprising that some people have begun to play politics with tax revenue generation.”
The FIRS chairman, who appreciated the directive by the President to government agencies to enable FIRS connect to their ICT systems, said that this singular pronouncement had softened the grounds for the Service to roll-out its system for seamless acquisition of data.
”We are confident that by the time all the agencies achieve 100% compliance with the President’s directive, Nigeria shall be the envy of other countries for tax compliance and domestic tax revenue mobilization,” he said
On the remittances of the Service to the Federation Account, the FIRS Chairman announced that the statistics from March 2022 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting show that out of a total revenue of N803.072 billion from all revenue agencies, tax revenue contributed by FIRS was N513.522 billion (63.94%) while non-tax revenue from all other agencies amounted to N289.55 billion (36.06%).
The Chairman noted that that the average tax or FIRS contribution to FAAC in 2021 was 59.45%.
”I mentioned in my welcome address to the 2021 edition of the Tax Dialogue that the world had begun a tax race of which Nigeria must be a winner.
”The revenue profile of the country in 2021 has clearly shown that our continued survival as a nation depends on tax revenue.
”This trend is set to continue for some time to come. As such, all hands must be on deck to support the tax system and make it function efficiently.
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said the dialogue is designed to engage stakeholders in the Nigerian tax-space in meaningful discourse so as to glean information, ideas and experience in the aid of policy formulation and improved tax environment.
According to the minister, the main tax revenue objectives of the Federal Government include developing an economy that does not lean too heavily on resource wealth.
She explained that Nigeria’s economic history provides enough facts that resource wealth alone cannot lead to sustainable development, self-sufficiency and sustainable.
The other tax revenue objectives are:
”To institutionalise a healthy tax culture among Nigerians. The right attitude towards taxation will enable every Nigerian to become a co-guardian of the tax system and the commonwealth.
”To create a participatory system of taxation whereby the taxpayers and other stakeholders understand and accept that they have equal stakes in the tax system.”