FIRS N4.62trillion revenue collection in 2011 highlights depth of corruption

The remarkable N4.62trillion revenue collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) last year has highlighted the widely held view among Nigerians that the bulk of revenue earned from other sectors, such as oil and gas industry, may have gone into financing of corruption by government.

The reconciled FIRS collection figure by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which almost doubles the figure of N2.83 trillion in 2010, exceeded the total N4.48trillion appropriation in the 2011 Budget by about N140billion.  

The recent 2011 budget implementation report published by the Federal Ministry of Finance showed that out of about N9.219trillion gross federally collectible revenue, about N6.82trillion, or 73.93 per cent was expected from the oil and gas sector, while N2.4trillion, or 26.07 per cent, was to come from non-oil sources.

But revelations during the just-concluded public hearing by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the management of fuel subsidy showed that over N2.3trillion was allegedly spent by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on petroleum products supply subsidy during the years alone.

“Clearly, FIRS single-handedly generated the whole amount appropriated in last year’s budget,” one revenue consultant noted in Abuja.

“If other agencies of government have been remitting all revenues generated into the Federation Account as required by the constitution, government would not have any need to scramble for funds for its development programmes.”

Records of the FIRS collections showed steady climb in revenue yield through taxation as N1.51 trillion came from non-oil taxes for the year ended 2011, as against N1.31 trillion recorded in 2010, including N663.02 billion of company income tax (CIT), N0.77 billion of capital gains tax (CGT) and stamp duty (SD), N6.42 billion.

Also, Value Added Tax (VAT) was N659.15 billion, made up of non-import VAT of N492.06 billion and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) import VAT of N167.09 billion, while education tax (EDT) was N130.74 billion, National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDF), N8.67 billion; personal income tax (PIT), N43.47 billion and Pre-Operational Levy (POL) , N0.40 billion.

The tax service attributed its performance to the ongoing reform to reposition the country’s tax system and make taxation the driver of sustainable development, adding that the total tax yield, including oil and gas taxes (OGT), was of N4.62 trillion, compared with the target of N3.63 trillion set by government for the Service for the year.

Of the total figure, the FIRS realised N3.11 trillion from the OGT as against the N1.31 trillion collected in 2010. The Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) accounted for N3.07 trillion, while Gas Income (GI) recorded N45.22 billion of the amount.

Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Ifueko Okauru, restated the Service determination to intensify its tax operations to expand the revenue base of the country 

in the current year, pointing out FIRS would continue to focus on staff capacity building, the plans to ensure that more revenue is collected.

“Driving revenue requires professional skills to increase tax revenue from the Stamp Duties and Capital Gain Tax as part of the efforts to expand the revenue generation profile of the country,’’ Ms. Okauru said.

“The Service would improve on its taxpayer’s education and services, processes and procedures in order to achieve its revenue target for 2012 as well as enhanced voluntary tax compliance.”

 


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