FIRS Chief Executive Nami
  • Targets N8.5trn revenue for 2020

BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – With a whopping 10 billion dollars to its name, Nigeria currently ranks among the African countries losing over $50 billion through profit shifting by Multinational Corporations within the continent.

Regrettably, this fraudulent practice is robbing the country of resources that ordinarily would have been deployed towards critical infrastructure development by the three tiers of government.

Disclosing this at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) 2020 Management Retreat at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Friday, Executive Chairman of the Service, Mr. Muhammad Nami, however hinted that on-going reforms in the nation’s tax sector are aimed at addressing the anomaly and ensuring more revenue accrues to government for development purposes.

Nami, who cited the African Union (AU) Illicit Financial Flow Report, told the gathering; “Africa is losing $50 billion through profit shifting by Multinational Corporations and about $10 billion of this amount is from Nigeria alone.”

According to him, efforts at blocking this unwholesome practice as well as other identified tax avoidance scheming by individuals and corporate organizations, the FIRS has launched a comprehensive, ongoing tax collection reform process.

He said these reforms are; “anchored on four cardinal pillars of rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework; robust collaboration with stakeholders; building a customer or taxpayer-centric Institution; and a making the FIRS data-centric institution.”

A statement by Director, Communications, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila, said the Service Chairman, his board and management team have also set targets that would improve its performance over the next four years by a “minimum target of $5 million staff-to-revenue- ration and a 10 per cent tax-to-GDP ratio.”

Mr Nami assured that FIRS is gradually weaning Nigeria off its dependence on oil revenue, noting that non-oil taxes “accounted for 60% contribution to the total collection” of taxes in 2019.

On the Service’s projection for this year, the FIRS boss said: “For the year 2020, we have a target of N8.5 trillion, which is slightly lower than the 2019 target by N300 billion. The N8.5 trillion target is broken down into oil tax target of N3.7 trillion and Non-oil taxes target of N4.8 trillion.”

He however pledged the Service’s resolve to play its “strategic role in the nation’s political economy, including supporting the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment of moving the country up on the Ease of Doing Business Ranking.”

Nami also said FIRS is unwavering in its commitment to the Federal Government plans of taking about “100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years and
rebuilding Nigeria’s critical infrastructure by generating sufficient revenue through expanding the tax net and efficient service delivery.”

The FIRS Chief described the Retreat as “a flagship event in the Service’s annual planning cycle and a platform where staff and Management review the performance of the Service in the immediate past year and map out goals and strategies for achieving set objectives for the current year.”

He said the 2020 retreat, with the theme; ’Re-positioning FIRS for Efficient Service Delivery’’, is “unique because it is the first to be held with complete FIRS Board in place in the last seven (7) years.”

The new FIRS Board was inaugurated by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs on the January 16, 2020.

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