- Eyes revenue-breaking targets
BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – Determined to sanitise the nation’s tax system and make it free of biting sharp practices, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has launched a national intelligence gathering system to gather data and track down all tax evaders and defaulters nationwide.
Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami said the plan is to rein in all culprits and ensure their fair share of taxes are henceforth paid into the country’s coffers.
Mr Muhammad Nami, dropped the hint during an inter-agency collaborative visit to the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owansanoye in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the intelligence gathering system is Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven, explaining that its implementation has close partnership with the ICPC and other anti-graft agencies as well as financial institutions aimed at effectively tackling economic and other related crimes, including money laundering in Nigeria.
According to him, The ICPC is our critical stakeholder. We are improving our collaboration with the ICPC to track tax fraud and block all revenue leakages to ensure that we raise the revenue for the government of Nigeria to fund its budget. We need the data and intelligence which you have to help us track tax evaders and bring them into the tax net”.
In his remarks, Prof Owasanoye pledged the support of ICPC in sharing data with the FIRS to not only track tax evaders and defaulters, but also tackle illicit financial flow in Nigeria towards raising government’s revenue profile.
“The collaboration between the FIRS and the ICPC is very important to Nigeria. One of the cardinal objectives of this Board of the ICPC is to widen the tax net. When we come across any company that is not tax compliant, we refer such companies to the FIRS”, the ICPC boss said.
Highlighting the Commission’s collaborative efforts so far, Prof Owasanoye said; “We have referred over 500 companies to FIRS. We want them to be captured in the tax net so that they continue to pay their taxes.”
Also in a related development, the FIRS Chairman, Mr Nami says on-going restructuring and revamping of the Service’s system will reposition it to efficiently meet and even surpass the revenue target for year 2020.
“Last week, the FIRS held its Management Retreat where we shared our vision and planned for the year so that together, we would be able to generate higher revenue for the government”, he said
Nami gave the assurance when a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Police Affairs visited him at the FIRS headquarters in Abuja.
A statement by the Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad quoted him as telling the Ministry’s team that the FIRS Board has approved several reform projects proposed by the Management, adding that repositioning the Service is anchored on four cardinal pillars, of “rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework; robust collaboration with stakeholders; building a customer (Taxpayer)-centric; and data-centric institution.”
Speaking during the visit, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Mazi Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri, who led the delegation, congratulated Nami on his appointment as the FIRS Executive Chairman and Chairman, Joint Tax Board (JTB).
Mberi noted that given Mr Nami’s rich credentials and years of practice in the industry, he was well deserving of the appointment.