• Says, FIRS Collected over N12 Trillion in first eight months of 2023.
The outgoing Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami has stated that he is handing over a Service that has been transformed through broad reforms initiated during his four year traverse of the FIRS.
Speaking during his handover ceremony to the Acting Executive Chairman FIRS, Mr. Zaccheaus Adedeji, earlier today, Mr. Nami stated that his administration embarked on broad range of reforms that transformed the Service into a Customer Centric and Data Centric tax authority, while restructuring the administrative operations of the Service.
Mr. Nami stated that during his tenure, he ensured the proper alignment of functions for seamless work-flow and efficient service delivery.
“In order to restructure the administration and operations of the Service, we effected proper staff placement, devolved FIRS’ administrative structure into 7 Groups, created new functional units, established industry-based tax offices and decentralised audit and investigation functions.
“The Service also achieved automation of tax administration by using in-house capacities to develop and deploy the Taxpro MAX which had been in use since 2021. The Taxpro MAX is a landmark success considering that the legacy iTax system that was procured at huge costs did not operate beyond the pilot stage. As of today, the automation programme is delivering online TCC, automated VAT collection system and integrated tax payment.”
Mr. Nami also stated that during his tenure, the tax authority had prioritised the satisfaction of taxpayers’ demands, while installing a Call Centre to attend to taxpayers’ enquiries. He further noted that his administration had established the Intelligence and Strategic Data Mining & Analysis department to source, analyse and disseminate data for tax operations of which the data provided by this function greatly enhanced the quality of tax compliance and enforcement activities.
Speaking further, the FIRS outgoing Executive Chairman stated that these reforms greatly improved the output of the Service including significantly reducing turn-around time for tax operations, securing ISO certification, improving voluntary tax compliance, altering the tax revenue mix in favour of non-oil taxes, and setting new collection records in 2021 and 2022.
“The Service is today contributing over 70% of the revenue being shared monthly by the FAAC,” Mr. Nami said.
“We are on track to set yet another record in 2023 as we have collected over N8.5 trillion (cash) from January 1st up to 14th September 2023, and have assessed, reconciled and recovered over N4 trillion outstanding tax liabilities and sequestered funds from NNPC on behalf of the Federation. This total sum of over N12 trillion is exclusive of amounts invested by our taxpayers under the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme and tax implications of waivers by Government from January, 2023 to date.
“During the inauguration of the erstwhile Board Members of the Service, I promised to raise the country’s Tax-To-GDP ratio from 6% to 10% in 4-years. We already have achieved a Tax-to-GDP ratio of 10.86% within two years (i.e. as at 31st December 2021.) Our projected total 2023 tax collection is a minimum of N15 trillion and a projected tax to GDP of nearly 14% by December 2023. Certainly, the projections by the current government of tax to GDP of 18% in another four years is not only realisable but can be surpassed.”
Mr. Nami used the opportunity to thank the former President, Muhammadu Buhari, the current President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Assembly, the Honorable Minister of Finance, and the Acting Executive Chairman—who until his appointment was Special Adviser on Revenue—Mr. Zach Adedeji for “their unquantifiable support and encouragement.”
He also thanked the Coordinating Directors and officers of the Service for his memorable tenure while urging them to extend the same loyalty, support and dedication to the Acting Executive Chairman.
In his remarks, the Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Zacch Adedeji FCA extolled the tenure of the outgoing Executive Chairman, stating that “Mr Nami’s tenure elevated our standards, paving the way for our future endeavours. Mr. Nami’s commitment to excellence has set a remarkable precedent for us all.”
He further noted that FIRS under his watch will be committed to “placing innovation, technology, and fresh ideas at the forefront of our operations.”
He noted that under his watch, the Service will nurture voluntary tax compliance by establishing a modern, dependable tax system that garners the trust and admiration of all stakeholders.
Mr. Zacch Adedeji cautioned those who deviate from their tax obligations to desist, noting that the Service under his leadership will enforce its responsibilities judiciously, while implementing a robust enforcement model that effectively defers tax evaders.
He noted that the Service under him will employ data in tax administration to ensure that decisions are well made.
“Quality data will be the cornerstone of our operations, enabling us to measure our progress, make informed decisions, and maintain the highest standards of accountability. We recognise that data-driven strategies are essential to our success.
“I pledge to maintain an open-door policy, actively engaging with stakeholders to collaboratively construct a tax administration that we can all take pride in. Together, we will build an institution that serves as a beacon of excellence.
“Our aspiration is audacious – to surpass Africa’s average tax-to-GDP ratio of 16.5% and achieve an impressive 18% within three years. By doing so, we aim to reduce our nation’s reliance on borrowing and ensure financial sustainability.
“The principles of integrity, confidentiality, professionalism, and fairness are non-negotiable in our service to the nation. Upholding these values will guide our actions and interactions as we work tirelessly to fulfil our mission,” Mr. Adedeji noted.