Uche Usim, Abuja
The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler on Thursday assured Nigerians that his agency would handsomely surpass the N5.3 trillion revenue generated in 2018.
In a chat with finance journalists on Thursday in Abuja, Fowler said the Service will leverage on robust IT platforms to ensure maximum revenue collection.
He explained that the Service had already embarked on far-reaching reforms aimed at making it easier and quicker for taxpayers to pay their taxes.
According to him, some the reforms have already yielded positive results, saying they accounted for the highest revenue generation in 2018.
The FIRS boss pointed out that while huge revenue could be generated from oil, he said the government was focussed on non-oil revenue sources in view of the oscillatory nature of the crude oil prices in the international market.
He said, “We did record some improvements last year as well made the sum of N5.3tn which is the highest in the history of the service.
“But it’s not about them but on what it can do. Many people believed that if we are generating so much money, then the Federal Government budget has no problem being funded.
“But they tend to forget that what we generated is shared between the three tiers of government.
“We generated N5.3tn and the highest before then for the country was N5.07tn. But the difference here is that in 2012, the oil revenue tax accounted for 64 per cent while in 2018 oil revenue accounted for 46 per cent.”
He said as a result of the dwindling oil revenue, the FIRS is working hard in ensuring taxes are collected and remitted for the benefits of the nation and all three tiers of government by targeting non-oil revenue.
In carrying out its mandate within the dynamic economic environment, the FIRS boss said the service has adopted initiatives to ensure a robust tax administration that is beneficial for all stakeholders.
He said, “We are here to serve all Nigerians and not disappoint, we are here to carry out by our mandate and we hope to generate the required revenue to make sure that all tiers of government can carry out their expectations from the people of Nigeria.
“We know that oil is good, but oil is not sustainable or something we can rely on to fund our budget”, he explained.