Nigerians hails Nami-led FIRS for gathering over N5.3 trillion in 2021
The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS as of 30th November, 2021 gathered over N5.3 trillion being 85% of the national tax target.
This was achieved by the vision, focus and commitment of the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami who on assumption of office drew up a four-point objective as a template for his mission to reposition the Service, for efficient service delivery.
Nami’s cardinal objectives are: Rebuilding FIRS institutional framework; Collaboration with stakeholders; Making FIRS a customer-centric institution and Making FIRS a Data-centric institution.
These objectives align with the three core areas of a tax system, which are, tax laws, tax policy and tax administration. A tax system works better by having a robust rapprochement with critical stakeholders, a properly nurtured and sustained customer-centric sentiment and a bias for data analysis and utilization. All of these can blend well within the framework of a properly positioned and structured corporate institution.
It was gathered that, Mr Muhammed Nami upon realizing the strategic importance of a tax system to the nation’s economy, he charged the management of FIRS to immediately mapped out strategies on how to reposition the service for greater service delivery. It thus adopted a range of initiatives aimed at the overall strengthening of the tax system. These strategies covered the three core areas of a tax system: tax laws, tax policy and tax administration.
Here are some of the achievements of FIRS from 2011 to 2021:
The Senate passed a Bill for an Act to establish the Finance Act on 11th December, 2019 through concerted efforts by the new management, it was given Presidential assent on 13th January, 2020 and the Finance Act 2019 came into effect, setting the tone for several other reform initiatives by the Nami-led FIRS.
The Finance Act 2019 was a wholesale amendment to seven different tax legislations namely: the Companies Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Capital Gains Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act, Customs and Excise Tariff Act, Petroleum Profits Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act.
In 2020, FIRS concluded the negotiation of the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements with Turkey. Negotiations are also at different stages with the following countries: Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Iran, Germany, Switzerland, India, Botswana, Japan, Greece, New Jersey and Russia. These will be concluded as soon as the few outstanding issues have been resolved.
During the 2020 fiscal year, FIRS continued the implementation of various administrative measures to enhance revenue collection to achieve its target.
The Annual Corporate Plan Retreat was reintroduced and it held between 7th and 8th February, 2020 with the theme “Repositioning FIRS for Efficient Service Delivery.”
The 2020 Corporate Plan was approved by the Executive Chairman, FIRS and exposed to the staff at the headquarters.
The Tax Incentive Management Department (TIMD) was also established to manage, implement and report on tax incentives as provided by relevant extant laws and regulations.
FIRS hosted the first ever National Tax Dialogue in January 2020. The event brought together leaders, institutional stakeholders and tax experts from across the world to discuss matters relating to improving taxation especially in Nigeria.
The National Tax Dialogue was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, AFdB President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Executive Secretary of the African Tax Administration Forum, Mr Logan Wort, and a host of other dignitaries.
FIRS has nurtured and fostered cooperation and collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian Tax System to provide a unified view of its plans to eliminate critical bottlenecks which hitherto impede efficient tax administration. Some of the stakeholders include: Federal Ministry of Finance, Corporate Affairs Commission, Security agencies & MDA’s etc.
The TaxProMax was developed and deployed. It is an in-house Tax Administration Solution, which covers the major processes of a tax administration system (Registration, Filing, Payment and Reporting) by the extant tax laws and IMF Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) standards.
This solution became operational on 1st June 2020 and is in use in all FIRS tax offices.
The TaxProMax was developed and deployed. It is an in-house Tax Administration Solution, which covers the major processes of a tax administration system (Registration, Filing, Payment and Reporting) by the extant tax laws and IMF Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) standards. This solution became operational on 1st June 2020 and is in use in all FIRS tax offices.
Muhammad Nami was unanimously elected President by the 47-member country organization on November 12, 2021 during the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) General Assembly which held virtually. Nami becomes the 15th President of CATA and first Nigerian to be so elected and will occupy the office for a three-year tenure.
At the inaugural meeting as CATA President in the United Kingdom, the FIRS boss promised to mobilise member countries and other tax bodies to build capacity of tax administrators to tackle the challenges they face.
“One goal I hope to achieve as your President is to work hand-in-hand with member countries to expand the character of tax administration such that our work is in tune with today’s innovation and realities,” he stated.