FIRS nets N1.5 trn in first quarter, targets N6 trn by December

The revenue agency had a target of N5.72 trillion.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it collected N1.5 trillion revenue as at the end of April.

This is contained in a statement signed by the services’ Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Emmanuel Obeta, on Thursday in Abuja.

According to the statement, the figure is an improvement on what it collected same period last year.

It stated that FIRS had jerked up its internal-revenue target for 2013 to N6 trillion as against the N5.72 trillion target given to it by the Federal Government.

The statement noted that the new target was drawn from the result of its modernisation and automation projects, particularly the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS).

“At the Regional Enlarged Management Meeting (REMM) in Lagos on Thursday FIRS Management team’s strategy was on how to achieve the targets of the service.

“Some of the issues discussed at the Lagos REMM included how to improve efficiency in FIRS revenue collection through the implementation of ITAS and improve staff motivation to ensure utmost performance,’’ it stated.

The acting chairman of the service, Kabir Mashi, said that from August, FIRS would begin to implement various components of the ITAS project, which the service had been working on. He said that when implemented, the ITAS project would enhance online real time payment of taxes and automatic receipt of tax clearance certificates, real time generation of Withholding Tax Credit Notes.

“ITAS is also expected to automate the raising and posting of assessments, filing of withholding tax credit, collation of arrears, risk analysis, production of reports and automated generation of demand letters to taxpayers.

“The Project will also eliminate paper file movement in the organisation and replace that with electronic systems which will ease hiccups in procurement and payment system in the organisation,’’ he said.

Mr. Mashi urged the general public to be wary of some fraudulent elements in the society who might be using the name of the service to extort money from them in the name of getting jobs for them in FIRS. He said that it had come to his notice that some misguided individuals had been peddling rumour that FIRS was recruiting.

“At the moment, FIRS is not recruiting new staff. FIRS has a tradition of advertising widely its recruitment appeals and we will do that when we have another batch of recruitment.

“I have received a lot of text messages and mails from people on this. They said that some people notified them that FIRS is recruiting, but there is nothing like that going on.

“We have concluded 2010 recruitment exercise and I know that recently, we employed some of our contract staff,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Sunday Ogungbesan, the Coordinating Director, Field Operations Group, said such meetings had helped the FIRS to make effective decisions in the past. He said that the meeting in Lagos would help the service to interact with the staff in Lagos regions and make good decisions.

“Our main focus in 2013 is of consolidation and strengthening existing ground. This we intend to achieve by vigorously pursuing the goals of the restructuring.

“This goals are entrenchment of customer service strategy operations, consolidation of taxpayer segmentation, improvement of taxpayer services, all aimed at improving taxpayer compliance,’’ he said.

Mr. Ogungbesan said that if managed properly, all these efforts are expected to result in high level of increased revenue flow into the revenue basket.

“An up to date report of FIRS revenue collection as at the end of May 2013 shows that our collections are beginning to pick up.

“I urge all Tax Controllers, Regional Coordinators and Directors to work continuously to sustain the rising tempo in order to meet the half-year target at the end of June,’’ Ogungbesan said.

(NAN)


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