Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler, has stated that the improvement in revenue collection in the country over the last four years is partly due to the adoption of technology, which has made payment process more convenient in addition to providing information to taxpayers.
The FIRS Chairman stated this on Thursday at the inaugural edition of ‘The Nigeria e-Government Conference’ in Lagos. In a keynote address delivered on his behalf by Dr. Zainab Gobir, Assistant Director, e-Services and PEBEC Coordinator, FIRS, Fowler said the FIRS has automated all its processes. He explained that processes such as e-Registration as well payment of Stamp Duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) have benefited from the automation, an improvement on the Service’s operations before 2016.
“Now, with all these initiatives put in place, our revenue has gone up tremendously, comparing it from 2015 to now. So, this goes to tell you that FIRS is all about innovation and we are all about continuously improving our technology to better serve the taxpaying public and to serve the nation as a whole,” he said.
Fowler also stated that as part of its commitment to the utilisation of technology, the FIRS has a functional website which Nigerians can interact with and get their feedback promptly without visiting the Service’s physical office.
“The FIRS website is very robust to the point that if you check your phone now and visit our website, it would tell you the closest (FIRS) office to where you are right now. You can do your tax payment and enquiries on your phone in your house, in your offices, anywhere. If you have any issues, we have an help desk line where you can call, you can chat with us, you can email us and we will respond to you in 24 hours or less with a response on what your issues are.
“The other thing that we did is to put up a survey on our website so that we can know what are the challenges that taxpayers are facing, how are we resolving them and are you happy with the service that we are rendering to you,” he said.
Fowler also urged government agencies and private companies in the ICT sector to collaborate to resolve the challenges of tax collection online.
Practitioners in the ICT industry commended the FIRS for adopting technology and urged other government ministries, agencies and departments (MDAs) to emulate the Service.
The Managing Director, Mainone, Funke Opeke, who was represented by Gimba Mohammed, lauded the FIRS for collaborating with the company in deploying ICT services to provide efficient tax services to Nigerians.
Also, the Managing Director, Pan African Towers, Wole Abu, commended the Service for its effort towards the utilisation of technology for tax collection in the country.