Tunde Fowler, the executive chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said the agency collected N1.171 trillion between January and March 2018, N393 billion more than it collected during the same period in 2017.
The N1.171 trillion collection in the first quarter of 2018 represented 51 percent increase, compared to N778.1 billion collected in same quarter of 2017.
The executive chairman of the agency revealed this at the weekend in Eko Hotels, Lagos during the 2018 ICAN Annual Dinner and Awards, where Fowler and Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s minister of finance were honoured by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
Fowler who was honoured with a Merit Award of the non-members Category said “good taxpayers who are doing their duties conscientiously, by paying taxes as and when due, will make Nigeria great again.”
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He, in addition, urged taxpayers to continue to pay their taxes as such effort will make Nigeria great again.
In reference to the honour and awards by the institute, Kemi Adeosun said the Merit Awards, in the members category to her, is a rare endorsement of some of the change initiatives under the present government administration.
She stated that the awards coming from an association known for its integrity and its professionalism to a tax collector is rare and an endorsement of the work of tax collectors in the country.
According to Ismail Zakari, the ICAN President, Fowler was singled out for the Merit Award for the innovative ways he has deployed, especially through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to revolutionise tax administration processes in Nigeria.
Zakari said some of these initiatives include “online filing of returns (e-filing, VAT-collect system, e-Stamp Duty (online stamping of documents and stamp duty payment), e-Tax Receipt (instant issuance of receipts for taxes paid), e-Tax Clearance) and more.
Fowler was also praised for his dogged determination in the tax drive to provide the Buhari administration with the much-needed revenue to fulfil the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
Zakari also talked of the minister of finance who was honoured for her exemplary and distinctive contributions to the growth of the Nigerian economy and here sterling leadership qualities.
He said to the minister that “This honour is in recognition of your outstanding contributions to the ideals of our institute which include: Accountability, integrity, honesty, exemplary leadership and nation building.”
Zakari added: “Particularly for your selfless service as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and for your roles in strengthening the Nigerian economy and entrenching accountability through the introduction of 22 Points Fiscal Reform Action Plan and the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme,”
Adeosun received further commendation for spearheading numerous reforms of the federal government such as the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) which has been extended to June 30 by the federal government, implementation of Treasury Single Account, implementation of Whistle-blower Policy, establishment of an Efficiency Unit, establishment of Development Bank of Nigeria, launch of Asset Tracking and Management Project, and introduction Fiscal Sustainability Plans for States, among others. Mrs Adeosun is a fellow of the Institute.
Other recipients of the Merit Award include the Akarigbo of Shagamu, Babatunde Ajayi, a retired Fellow of ICAN; Margaret Unubun and Isiaka Abdulrazaq of NNPC.
Also honoured by ICAN in the Corporate Category were the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and Fate Foundation.
In the posthumous category, the awardees were Zubair Abdullah and Uchenna Erobu.
Muhammadu Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, Aliko Dangote were also honoured as awardees in the non-members category.