We rely on Lagos to meet N8.5 trillion target, FIRS boss

 IBRAHIM QUADRI

The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammed Nami on Tuesday appealed for the suport of its counterpart, Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) to meet up with the N8.5 trillion target set by the President, Muhammadu Buhari to fund the 2020 budget estimate.

Nami made the appeal during a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at Lagos House, Alausa Ikeja.

The FIRS boss said “It was time to map out strategies on how to move the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) and the present administration forward and channel the country towards growth and development.

“Some of the multinational companies in Nigeria as far back as 2011 was the last time they declared their profit in Nigeria. We are of the view that with you being their host and our internal revenue on ground we should be able to map out strategy on how to tackle these issues.

“These are companies that most of their products are consumed daily in our houses but they will come here, do business, go back to their country and leave us with huge responsibility of providing security for their businesses and infrastructure which they will use to provide an atmosphere to operate optimally. There is need to map out strategy how to move this tax and administration forward.

“We are all aware that to fund the budgetary requirements, the president  has given us an unusual target of 8.5 trillion to collect. We feel this is a huge task in view of the fact that the tax average to GDP in Africa is as huge as 17 per cent. In Nigeria which is the second economy has just 6 per cent tax ratio to GDP. It becomes a challenge also that the second largest economy in Africa has a tax ratio to GDP in the region of 27 to 28 per cent. This becomes an issue because most of the companies that get tax spectrum are all based in Nigeria.

“We want to request that the internal revenue in Lagos State  share certain information with us so that we can collaborate in not only generating income for the country but also building capacity for the staff of FIRS and IRS, we feel without this collaboration we hardly can generate this N8.5 trillion that we have been instructed to collect by the president,” Nami added.

In his response, the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu pledged continued collaboration with the FIRS to move Tax administration forward in the country.

The Governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving tax exemptions on some category of Businesses, goods and services.

Sanw-Olu, who promised that the state will judiciously utilize its federal allocation, appealed to citizens, corporate bodies to pay their taxes promptly for government to be able to deliver on its responsibilities.

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