Nige­ria’s tax rev­enue rises to N28.14trn in 10 years – FIRS

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Chris Agabi

The Fed­eral In­land Rev­enue Ser­vice (FIRS) has in­di­cated its re­solve to raise the tax rev­enue pro­file of Nige­ria by at least 600 per­cent in 10 years.

The Act­ing Chair­man, FIRS, Mr. Ba­batunde Fowler dropped the hint Wed­nes­day in Abuja while field­ing ques­tions from jour­nal­ists when the ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers of the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Tax­a­tion of Nige­ria (CITN) vis­ited him in his of­fice.

FIRS gen­er­ated some N4.69 tril­lion from taxes for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in 2014. Thus go­ing by Mr. Fowler’s in­di­ca­tion, Nige­ria’s rev­enue in taxes should hit N28.14 tril­lion by 2025.

The FIRS boss said he would like to adopt the state of Ge­or­gia, United States of Amer­ica’s model which raised its tax pro­file by 600 per­cent in 10 years.

“I am look­ing at the ex­pe­ri­ence of Ge­or­gia. What they did within 10 years can be done in Nige­ria. They in­creased their rev­enue by times six within 10 years. And if you look at La­gos from 1999, the tax rev­enue was raised by times 20 and we didn’t in­crease any rates and hardly changed any laws. It’s just a mat­ter of do­ing it right in other states and do­ing it at the fed­eral level as well,” he said.

“We don’t have to change the tax rates or re­view any law. All we need do is to do the right thing and make sure we are 100 per­cent or 99 per­cent com­pli­ant. Or­gan­i­sa­tions should pay what is due, when it’s due. In­di­vid­u­als should do what is right”, he em­pha­sized.

He noted that Nige­ria has in­deed moved away from the tra­di­tion of re­ly­ing on oil rev­enue to tax rev­enue.

“It is clear that the peo­ple of Nige­ria and the gov­ern­ment know that oil rev­enue is gone and even if it comes back, it will be an ic­ing on the cake. We can no longer rely on oil rev­enue but on tax­a­tion,” he said.

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