The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, yesterday put the total tax revenues generated by the organisation last year at N4.95 trillion. This represents about 98 per cent of the N5.07 trillion target for the period.
Nami noted that the near 100 per cent collection was particularly remarkable, considering the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the economy, the all-time low price of crude oil in the international market and business disruptions and looting during the recent #EndSARS protests.
Nami, in a statement yesterday by the Director of Communications and Liaison, FIRS, Dr. Abdullahi Ahmad, however, explained that oil revenue, which used to contribute over 50 per cent in tax returns through the Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT) in previous years, accounted for only 30.6 per cent of tax revenue in the period under review.
Non-oil tax collection also peaked at 109 per cent in 2020, which is about 9 per cent higher than the previous year.
Nami attributed the feat to reforms initiated by the FIRS, particularly in the areas of capacity building for members of the staff, improved staff welfare package, promotion and proper placement of staff, deployment of appropriate technology for tax operations, segmentation of taxpayers to ease tax compliance and continuous collaboration with stakeholders, among others.
He commended those he described as conscientious taxpayers and dedicated FIRS staff for their support and devotion to work, which made the performance possible despite the numerous obstacles encountered in 2020.
“The FIRS is optimistic this current fiscal year, 2021, will be better than in 2020. We shall perform exceedingly well given that our service reforms are expected to yield greater dividends, especially as different parts of tax administration are being automated.
“We are also optimistic that exploration activities will improve in the oil sector and increase the prospect of higher tax revenue from the sector.
“Similarly, the ongoing reforms by the service together with increased stakeholder collaborations will brighten the prospect of improved voluntary compliance and consequently higher tax revenue generation for the country this year and beyond,” he said.