The House of Representatives yesterday passed the N168.8 billion budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at the Committee of Supply.
This followed the consideration of the report on the budget as laid by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. James Faleke
Presenting the report before the House at plenary, Faleke said: “That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Finance on the 2020 budget of the FIRS and approve the recommendations therein” (Pursuant to Order 18, Rule 41 (2)01) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives) (Committee of Supply).
“That a total expenditure of N168,809,476,220 be approved to defray the proposed personnel, overhead and capital expenditure cost of the Service during the fiscal year 2020;
“That the digitalisation of all processes in the administration of tax in FIRS should be undertaken so as to catch up with rapidly increasing economic activities most often carried out on-line without physical presence;
“That FIRS (Establishment) Act and other tax laws be amended to make it possible for FIRS to modernise its operations with relevant technology.”
All the recommendations in the report were adopted and the members approved the proposed cash for the tax agency.
The House gave the Service an extra N100 billion as an intervention fund.
Hon Faleke said the committee: “Accepts the need for the Service to have an Intervention Fund and recommends an approval of one off Special Purpose Fund to the tune of N100, 000,000,000.
“This fund will expressly assist the F IRS fund its immediate but pressing needs such as completion of the FIRS Head Office building complex within 12 months, six training schools, 30 prototype tax operations offices, purpose-built facilities for efficient taxation of the upstream petroleum industry and ICT infrastructure to identify and track digital transactions.”
The additional funds went without opposition and hence was passed by the House.
It would be recalled that the FIRS had appeared before the House committee to defend its budget and explain how it spent its 2019 budget.
Based on the performance of the Mohammad Nami-led management before the Committee, members agreed to follow through with the needs of the tax agency before the House during the presentation of its budget.