BY COBHAM NSA – The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says despite national and global economic shocks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria continues to record impressive rise in collectable tax revenue from the non-oil sector of the economy.

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, said the improved non-oil sector receipts are attributable to ongoing reform initiatives of the Service Board and Management as well as renewed vigour by the workforce.

Nami who spoke when FIRS Board members visited the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed in Abuja, disclosed that non-oil tax receipts have consistently contributed between 75 and 90 per cent of total tax revenue in recent months.

According to him, of the N490 billion collected by FIRS in July 2020, only N52 billion came from the oil sector while the non-oil receipts into the federation purse contributed the remaining chunk.

Nami thanked the Minister for supporting FIRS and its Board since their inauguration earlier in the year, even as he solicited closer working relationship between the Service and the Finance Ministry.

In her response, the Minister, Mrs Ahmed attested to Mr Nami’s disclosure, and lauded the FIRS’ Management and Board for working to limit the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on government revenue through their proactive reforms.

She described the development as heartwarming given its positive impact on monthly statutory allocations from the Federation Accounts to the three tiers of government.

A statement by Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, said the Minister also noted that Value Added Tax (VAT) and Stamp Duties receipts have continued to boost government revenue despite the virus outbreak.

Mrs Ahmed pledged to continue to support the FIRS’ Management and Board, tasking the Service to work harder towards diversifying government revenue sources further away from dependence on oil.

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