FIRS collects N4trn in revenue

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has said that the agency in 2017 collected the sum of N4 trillion as tax income, which is an increase of  N720 billion or 21.7 per cent  from N3.3 trillion it collected in 2,017.
During a courtesy visit to the Palace of Oba of Lagos State, Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu, on Monday, he noted that the agency enjoyed the support of the Lagos State Government and other government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the collection of the tax.
According to him, “Just to put it on record, with the support of the finance committee of the Senate, and House of Representatives, we were able to cross the N4 trillion tax collection for the financial year ended 2017.
“This is an increase of about 21.7 per cent over the 2016 figure. In 2016, we were able to generate N3.3 trillion,” he said.
He noted that for the country to move forward, key stakeholders in tax collection must be on board.
He explained that performance of FIRS also determines the amount of revenue the three tiers of government shared on monthly basis.
Fowler further explained that the visit was meant to commemorate the commencement of the annual stakeholders’ retreat organised by the tax collection agency.
Responding, Oba Akiolu pledged his support for the tax collector agency.
“We have always been supporting the agency and we are still going to give more support, because for us in the palace, we have paid about N350 million as tax to the agency within the last seven years,” he said.
He also expressed confidence that 60 percent of the N4 trillion tax collected was from the people of Lagos which, he said, was a sign of the importance of Lagos State to the development of the country.
He also charged the House of Representatives and Senate to work towards the growth and development of the economy and the anti-graft efforts in the country
Meanwhile, in his opening remarks at the FIRS 2018 workshop with theme, “Optimising Tax Administration with Parliamentary Synergy,” Fowler had stressed that the service was working on strategies to enhance collaboration with critical stakeholders, particularly the National Assembly.
“In addition to the traditional objective of reviewing past performance and setting  targets for the future, we intend to discuss strategies for enhancing collaboration between FIRS and its critical stakeholders; particularly the National Assembly with the view of explaining details of our operations and ultimately to improve overall organisational performance to achieve 2018’s target in excess of N5 trillion yet to be approved by the distinguished members of the National Assembly.
“Areas of focus include, but are not limited to an exposition of the FIRS budgeting process, possible areas of legislative reforms and review of global best practices towards making taxation the pivot of national development,” he said.
He explained that decline in receipts from oil revenue and the concomitant decline in accruals to states from the Federation Account had placed many states in a financial quandary to the point where basic obligations, such as the payment of employee wages had become a perennial challenge.

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