By Olawunmi Ashafa
The Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, on Monday said that the agency achieved N4 trillion as tax revenue collection in 2017.
Fowler said this at the FIRS 2018 Management and Stakeholders meeting in Lagos with the theme, “Optimizing Tax Administration with Parliamentary Synergy”.
The agency recorded N3.3 trillion as revenue collection in 2016.
The chairman said he was hopeful that the country would be further moved forward through taxation.
“By putting our hands together in contribution on to our set goal, I am confident that we will surpass our past result and we will be on our way to the future we hope to achieve.
“It is clear that taxation is the most sustainable of all government revenue sources,” Fowler said.
According to him, there has been sustained decline in global price of oil in the second half of 2014, making the revenue generated from it to stand at N2.45 trillion.
He also said that in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the nation’s revenue from oil stood at N1.29 trillion, N1.16 trillion and N1.52.
Fowler said the trend had adverse effects on the ability of oil dependent countries to meet their development objectives.
“For us in Nigeria, a decline in receipts from oil revenue and decline in accruals to states from the federal account has placed many states in a financial quandary, to the extent where basic obligations such as the payment of employee wages has become a perennial challenge,” he said.
Fowler also said what the retreat hoped to achieve was part of efforts to ensure that the country must act differently by looking beyond oil as the mainstay of the economy.
“Therefore, there can not be any serious discussion on diversification of the nation’s revenue generation without reviewing the country’s tax regime for optimal performance.
“Between the resource persons, we have invited our own staff and our stakeholders.
“We hope to draw from a wide spectrum of perspectives on how best to move forward.
“If the way forward requires a review of existing legal framework or legislative reform, there is no doubt in my mind that we have willing and able partners in the National Assembly, FIRS Board and the Joint Tax Board”.
He commended the National Assembly and traditional institution for their involvement in deepening tax collection in the country.
Earlier, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, who received the FIRS Chairman at his palace, thanked the National Assembly for its contributions and support to tax revenue generation in the country.
Akiolu said that the country needed good government, governance and leadership while urging them to be patient with the president in moving the country forward.
He said that Lagos State had been contributing its quota in ensuring more tax revenue generation for the country.
Also, at the courtesy visit were the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Sen. John Owan-Enoh, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Rep Babangida Ibrahim as well as members of the senate and house committees on finance.