By Adedapo Adesanya
The sum of N157.35 billion has been paid to states by federal government as Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) tax liabilities owed by federal ministries, departments and agencies from 2002 to 2016.
This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, at the flag-off of the New National Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Registration System at the South-East Geopolitical Zone in Awka, Anambra State on Thursday.
According to Mr Fowler, the money represents the outstanding liabilities of PAYE by the federal MDAs to state governments for 14 years till 2016. He disclosed further that N23.87 billion of the N157.35 billion, (15 percent) went to South-East Geopolitical Zone of the country.
“Over the last four years, the economic policies of the current administration has focused on establishing a stable foundation for further socio-economic growth and development, and with the astute leadership of Mr President, the milestones achieved bears ample testimony on the impact that has been made, not only in tax-revenue administration, but in the environment of doing business in Nigeria,” the taxman said.
Mr Fowler expressed optimism that the remittance to states will encourage state governments to reciprocate and promptly remit all withholding taxes and VAT due to the federation account.
He said that the Joint Tax Board and the FIRS in the last few years have recorded several achievements including, “Expansion of the tax base from 10 million to 20 million taxpayers with the potential for an increase of up to 45 million before year end, exponential growth in the IGR collection at the sub-national level by 46.11 percent from N800.02 billion in 2016 to N1.16 trillion in 2018.”
He also added that FIRS collections rose by 53.81 percent from N3.3 trillion in 2016 to N5.32 trillion in 2018; with the 2018 total collection of N5.32 trillion being the highest collection ever in the history of FIRS.
Mr Fowler added that other achievements include; Non-Oil Revenue which was quoted at N2.85 trillion accounted for 54 percent of total revenue collection. Adding that Nigeria moved upward in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking, moving up 16 places in the recently released 2020 Report from 146th position to 131st position. He also celebrated that the fact that the country became one of the top 20 reformers globally as a result of this.
The FIRS boss then said with the TIN system, there will be improvement in the efficiency and output of the entire tax administration process, adding that it is meant to provide enhanced convenience to the taxpayers as well as the tax administrators, while guaranteeing that each taxpayer’s details are readily available to them at their fingertips at all times and anywhere.
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