FIRS generated over N21.7trillion revenue in 11 years, says former Chairman

Ifueko Omoigui Okauru

The immediate past Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue service, Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, said the service generated cumulative revenue of N21.7trillion into the Federation Account in the last eleven years.

The former Chairman, who was presenting her report card entitled “The End and Beginning of a New Era” as the curtain falls on her tenure last Monday, said a total of N7.53 trillion came from non- oil sources, while over N13.036 trillion was realised as oil revenue during the period.

A breakdown of the earnings shows that about N163.3 billion was realised as non-oil tax revenue in 2001 as against oil tax revenues of about N407.1 billion; N204.4 billion and N224.4billion respectively for 2002; N255.4 billion and N438.0 billion for 2003; N316.2 billion and N878.6 billion in 2004, while N389.2 billion and N1, 52.2 trillion was realised in 2005.

The reform in the tax system under the leadership of the outgone Chairman witnessed sustained increase in the tax revenue yields, with about N513.7 billion realised as non-oil tax revenue and N1.353 trillion in 2006; N716.3 billion and N1.132 trillion respectively in 2007; N911.3 billion and N2.061 trillion in 2008; N1.147 trillion and N939.4 billion in 2009; N1.359 trillion and N1.481trillion, while N1.558 trillion and N3.071trillion was realised last year.

Apart from over 6000 FIRS staff that enjoyed various professional on-the-job trainings in the last eight years, Mrs. Omoigui Okauru said several modernisation projects were undertaken to position the service as a 21st Century tax agency.

“Five of the nine bills presented to the National Assembly were also passed, including the Personal Income Tax Amendment Act and the Federal Inland Revenue Establishment Act FIRSEA 2007, one stop- tax shops were created to ease the burden of taxpayers, while the FIRS collaborated with states, agencies and countries to share data to enhance revenue collection,” she said.

According to her, with respect to the services’ core mandate of tax collection, tax revenue grew astronomically from slightly below N1.2 trillion (about $7.9billion) in 2004, to over N4.6 trillion (over $30billion) in 2011 (over four times the collection figure of 2004).

Urging cooperation and support for her successors, the former Chairman challenged them to not only sustain the momentum of success her administration created, but also strive to surpass it.

“I have always regarded this journey as a relay in which my goal was to use my best effort to run my segment of the race,” she noted. “As I hand over the baton, I encourage you to continue the race and surpass all that has previously been achieved. I urge complete support for the incoming Acting Executive Chairman – Alhaji Kabir Muhammad Mashi – an experienced and distinguished public servant. Never forget that this is a team sport and that the strength of the institution is in the strength of the team.”

Mrs. Omoigui Okauru, who was appointed by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration on May 3, 2004, was reappointed on April 10, 2008 for another four-year term, which ended April 9, 2012.

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