The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria has lauded achievements of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) towards improving the revenue base for the country.
According to the institute, The FIRS has done credibly well and needs to be commended by both government and well-meaning Nigerians.
Adefisayo Awogbade, registrar/chief executive for the institute in a statement made available to business a.m weekend noted that the FIRS has severally adopted unique innovative strategies and initiatives in the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) during the period (2015 – 2017) that led to approximately 40 percent increase over 2012 – 2014 collection figures.
In the statement issued following a courtesy visit to CITN by executives of the Financial Correspondent Association of Nigeria (FICAN), the institute noted the various initiatives adopted by the FIRS includes ICT innovations, taxpayer education, taxpayer enlightenment and evaluation, etc.
It said as the only tax professional regulatory body in Nigeria, it has keenly observed that since August 2015, the FIRS target for two major non-oil taxes were increased by 52 percent for VAT and 45 percent for Companies Income Tax (CIT).
“This period has not only witnessed increase in absolute collection figures, but has more than ever increased tax payers base and has brought tax compliance consciousness to the Nigerian populace amongst others, Awogbade explained.
Describing the increasing contribution to non-oil revenue facilitated by the FIRS’, as against oil revenue collection figures, which are subject to more external forces such as the price of oil in the international market, which itself is subject to a myriad of factors beyond the control of local fiscal policy and jurisdiction, the CITN said between 2012 – 2014 oil revenue accounted for 57.28 percent while non-oil revenue accounted for 42.72 percent.
By the period between 2016 – 2018, oil revenue accounted for 40.65 percent while non-oil revenue had appreciated and accounted for 59.33 percent of collected revenues.
The Institute noted that the fall in price of crude oil and reduction in crude oil production were traceable to vandalization of pipelines and the effect of the recession on the economy in the second quarter of 2016, which slowed down general economic activities in the country. They However added that tax revenue grew as the economy recovered in the second quarter of 2017.
The Institute expressed confidence that the current strategies and initiatives will improve revenue collections and meet the expectations of the Government.
“It is hoped that with the adoption of more tax compliance strategies, the tax base will experience further widening to include more people, sectors and businesses into the tax net for enhanced revenue generation,” they said.
Calling for a collaboration to drive progress faster, the Institute said, “we are convinced that we have made some progress but yet to reach our objectives as regards taxation in Nigeria.
We urge the FIRS to join hands with CITN in its avowed quest to make taxation the foremost driver of our revenue generation in Nigeria.”