By Bimbola Oyesola
Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has urged the Kano business community and other taxpayers in the country to continue to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies deployed by the Service recently to pay their taxes as and when due.
Nami also charged members of staff of the FIRS to redouble their efforts in generating tax revenue for the country by expanding the national tax net to include those still outside it.
Nami gave the admonitions on Monday at a stakeholder meeting involving the management and staff of the FIRS and the Kano Business Community.
According to him, “presently, Nigeria’s economy relies on non-oil revenues to discharge its statutory responsibility of paying salaries and providing social amenities to the citizenry. However, despite the prospect which tax revenue holds for the country, the ‘’Tax to GDP’’ ratio for Nigeria is about six per cent compared to Egypt at 15 per cent, Ghana and Kenya at 17 per cent, South Africa at 28 per cent. This is a very sad reality that is unacceptable for a country that has the largest economy in Africa.”
He added: “To overcome this challenge, we must recognise and adapt to the changing pattern of the business environment where technology is the driver of business operations. For many years, our revenue generation architecture had been largely manual with limited use of technology. Adopting technology in tax administration is crucial in improving domestic revenue mobilization given dwindling oil prices to avoid falling into a debt crisis. It is against this backdrop that the TaxProMax became the channel for filing Naira-denominated tax returns effective from June 7, 2021.”
Meanwhile, organised labour yesterday commended the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for recording over N650 billion in revenue generation last month.
The Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria (ASCSN), in a press statement by its National President, Tommy Etim Okon, and the Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, expressed delight that the FIRS that it was a real spike in the annals of the organisation.
“It is indeed remarkable that, in spite of the economic meltdown occasioned by the ravages of COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Inland Revenue Service was able to generate more than N650 billion last month, the highest in one month since the outbreak of the global disease.”