Uche Usim, Abuja
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), remitted N4.63 trillion into the federation account between January and November this year, in line with its mandate as a major revenue generating agency of the country.
The figure is contained in a document presented to the Ministry of Finance at the final Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja recently.
Details of the remittance show that the N4.63 trillion was collected from three major categories of taxes including Petroleum Profit Tax where N2.3 trillion was collected; Companies Income Tax, which generated N1.31 trillion and Value Added Tax where the sum of N1 trillion was received.
A monthly breakdown of the N4.63 trillion revenue figure showed N353.27 billion was remitted in January while February, March and April had N450.46 billion, N319.08 billion and N428.44 billion respectively.
In May, N384.84 billion was paid into the federation account while N457.57 billion, N408.93 billion and N492.58 billion was remitted in June, July and August in that order.
For September, N370.52 billion was paid into the coffers of government while the Service also remitted N473.72 billion and N485.51 billion in October and November respectively.
FAAC, headed by the Minister of State for Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, comprises Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states of the federation; the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, and officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Others are representatives from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The federation account is currently being managed on a legal framework that allows funds to be shared under three major components; statutory allocation, VAT distribution and allocation made under the derivation principle.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, has allayed the fears nursed by anxious Nigerians that the Federal Government was tinkering with the idea of hiking taxes and rates for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in its desperate bid to shore up non-oil revenue for economic reflation.
Fowler who spoke recently in Abuja while outlining the agency’s performance said the plan of the government was tilted towards improving tax collection and swelling the numbers of taxpayers.
He said: “We’re not increasing tax rates but tax collection and tax base. Indeed, we are considering reduction of taxes to small SMEs,” he said.
The FIRS boss also said that the government will implement the tax laws on special luxury items like private jets, luxury vehicles and the likes.
“We shall implement the special luxury items. The law is there but not yet implemented. It has been approved.