FIRS Nets N4 trillion In Nine Months of 2019 — Fowler
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) collected N4.012 trillion in the first three quarters (January-September) of this year, its Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler, has disclosed.
The amount is N77.89 billion higher than the N3.941 trillion it collected within the corresponding period in 2018.
Mr Fowler made the disclosure while addressing the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Thursday in Abuja.
He said although the amount collected represents N60.77 per cent of the N8. 8 trillion targets of the FIRS for 2019, he was optimistic the agency will surpass the N5.3 trillion it collected last year.
President Muhammadu Buhari in August queried Mr Fowler over variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018.
In his response to the query, Mr Fowler associated the general lower collection since 2015 to oil market crisis which he said: “slowed down economic activities”.
Low inflow of revenue
At his appearance before the Senate Committee on Thursday, Mr Fowler said: “Kindly note that our budget for 2019 was raised by ₦2.02 trillion representing 30.4% increase over the 2018 budget i.e. ₦6.747 trillion in 2018 to ₦8.8 trillion in 2019.
“Our total tax collection to date represents 78.2% achievement of the corresponding budget of 2018. Based on the collection, we expect the total collection to equal ₦5.4 trillion by the end of 2019.”
He said the drive towards developing more sustainable sources of tax revenue by shifting the focus from oil revenue to non-oil was also yielding positive results.
Mr Fowler said non-oil revenue collection for January to September stood at ₦2.423 trillion, representing 72 per cent achievement of the non-oil target for the period while oil revenue collection of ₦1.588 trillion represents 49 per cent achievement to target for the period.
He said the total collection in 2019 shows a percentage ratio of 61 per cent for non-oil revenue to 39 per cent for oil revenue, while non-oil collection grew by 13 per cent over the for the corresponding period in 2018.
“Please note that the noticeably low inflow of revenue from PPT for 2019 thus far, is as a result of the shortfall in PPT estimates filed by the International Oil Companies (IOC).
“This is resultant from huge losses carried forward and tax incentives arising from the Modified Carried Agreements (MCA) by Joint Venture (JV) partners, unutilized Investment Tax Credits carried forward by the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) contractors which subsequently reduced the profits available for Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT).
“This is further compounded by production constraints which have continued to fall below the projected figure of 2.3 million BPD for the year,” he said.
He said the target for FIRS as provided in the MTEF which is before the National Assembly is ₦8.5 trillion.
President Muhammadu Buhari in his National Independence address had warned that severe consequences will be meted on any of Nigeria’s revenue-generating agencies that fail to meet set targets.
In achieving its set target, Mr Fowler listed strategies being implemented towards attaining the N8.8 trillion target as follows: ICT Initiatives, Compliance, and Enforcement Initiatives, International Tax Initiatives, Tax Amnesty Programme and Expansion of taxpayer database and other Initiatives.
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