The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) collected the sum of N4. 952 trillion in total tax revenue in the year 2020 as against previous years. Director Communications and Liaison, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, said in a statement, that the figure represented approximately 98 per cent of the national tax target of N5.076 trillion set for the FIRS by the federal government, in the year under review.
Ahmed, however, quoted the executive director saying that the feat was “ remarkable when placed against the backdrop of the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the Nigerian economy; the all-time low price of crude oil in the international market; business disruptions and lootings during the #EndSars protests; generous tax waivers granted by the FIRS to ease the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown; additional tax exemptions granted to small companies in the 2019 Finance Act; and insecurity in some parts of the country.”
He disclosed that oil which used to contribute over 50 percent in tax returns through the Petroleum Profits Tax in previous years, accounted for only 30.6 percent while the non-oil tax collection was 109percent in 2020, which is 9percent higher than the previous year.
In 2016, FIRS generated N3.3 trillion and this rose to N4 trillion in 2017 and N5.3 trillion in 2018 — the highest record since 2012. In 2019, FIRS pulled in 5 trillion against its projected revenue of N8.8 trillion and dropped to N4.95 trillion in 2020.
However, Nami attributed the FIRS revenue generation success in 2020 to a number of reforms initiated by the Board and Management of the Service under his leadership.
The reforms included capacity building for members of the staff; improved staff welfare package; promotion and proper placement of staff; deployment of appropriate technology for tax operations; segmentation of taxpayers to ease tax compliance; and continuous collaboration with relevant stakeholders, among others.
“The conscientious taxpayers in the country and dedicated members of staff of the FIRS nationwide for their support and devotion to work which made this performance possible despite the numerous obstacles encountered by the Service in 2020”.