• Assures Nigerians of more than N4trn contribution to annual budget
The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, has assured Nigerians that his agency to contribute more than N4 trillion to revenue projections in the 2018 Budget of the federal government which was signed by the president last week.
President Mohammadu Buhari signed an annual budget with an expenditure profile of N9.12 trillion as well as provision for a supplementary budget, thus raising concerns on how the huge budget would be funded.
Fowler also said the FIRS is on course to achieve its target of N5 trillion from taxes in 2018 fiscal year.
Disclosing this in an interview on AMOI Unplugged, set to be aired on the network service of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Thursday, at 10 pm, Fowler said the service is focused on radically changing the tax administration system in Nigeria.
He said the high revenue target has worked positively to push the frontiers of the diversification efforts of the federal government.
According to Fowler, FIRS has been able to move its revenue targets up from N3 trillion in 2016 with the expansion of the tax net.
He stated that more people have been added to the tax net noting that the feat was achieved in collaboration with chairmen of revenue services in all states of the federation.
Fowler lauded Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state for his support to the Service in helping bring governors to understand the focus of the service and support her work.
He also stated that staffs of the service have been wonderful in their support and understanding of the focus of management of the FIRS adding that their support proved invaluable in helping the service achieve its high revenue targets.
Fowler, who was led in questions by the anchor of the programme, Chioma Ikejiani, stated that the biggest incentive to tax collection in the country was the deployment of technology which he said had eased tax administration making it possible for taxpayers to receive their certificates in record time.
He also stated that Nigeria’s diversification effort of government cannot be achieved without an efficient tax system which, according to him, ensures that all taxable adults and businesses are encouraged to fulfill their obligations to the state.
Fowler, however, warned that despite the progress made thus far in tax collection, the FIRS will not abdicate its responsibility to take legal action against tax defaulters, corporate and individual.
He said those who still engage in hide and seek with tax administrators, will have only themselves to blame as both the FIRS and the state counterparts are working in collaboration to ensure that no tax paying Nigerian, individual or corporate, escape the tax man.