FIRS says the figure represents about 98 per cent of the government’s tax target of N5.1 trillion.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service  (FIRS) says it collected N4.9 trillion as tax revenue in the 2020 fiscal year.
Abdullahi Ahmad, FIRS’ director of communications, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mr Ahmad said this represented about 98 per cent of the government’s tax target of N5.1 trillion set for the FIRS.

The director quoted the chairman of the agency, Muhammad Nami, as saying that this performance was remarkable, considering the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the Nigerian economy.

He identified the all-time low price of crude oil in the international market, business disruptions and lootings during the #EndSARS protests and tax waivers granted to ease the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown as some factors that hindered the FIRS operations last year.

He said additional tax exemptions granted to small companies in the 2019 Finance Act and insecurity in some parts of the country were also factors that limited the agency’s achievement.

According to Mr Nami, oil, which used to contribute more than 50 per cent in tax returns through the Petroleum Profits Tax in previous years, accounted for only 30.6 per cent of the tax revenue generated in 2020.

Non-Oil Tax

He also said that non-oil tax collection was 109 per cent in 2020, nine per cent higher than the previous year.

He attributed the success recorded in 2020 to many reforms initiated by the board and the management of FIRS under his leadership.

He said the reforms included capacity building for staff, improved welfare package, promotion and proper placement of staff and deployment of appropriate technology for tax operations.

“The conscientious taxpayers in the country and dedicated members of staff of the FIRS nationwide for their support and devotion to work made this performance possible despite the numerous obstacles encountered in 2020,” he said.

“The FIRS is optimistic that this current fiscal year will be better than in 2020.

“We shall perform well, given that our service reforms are expected to yield greater dividends, especially as different parts of tax administration are being automated.

“We are also optimistic that exploration activities will improve in the oil sector and increase the prospect of higher tax revenue from the sector.” (NAN)

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