FIRS blocks$10 billion tax leak by multinationals

Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr.
Muhammad Nami, has said that the agency is determined to stop an annual tax revenue loss of about $10 billion through illicit profit shifting by multinational corporations operating in the country.

He said such humongous sum would change the fortunes of the country if captured and channelled to address the frightening infrastructure deficit.

Speaking on Friday in Abuja at the start of the service’s 2020 Management Retreat held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Nami who quoted the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report, said: “Africa is losing $50 billion through profit shifting by Multinational Corporations and about $10 billion of this amount is from Nigeria alone.”

He thus harped on the urgent need to halt serial loss by smashing all identified tax avoidance schemes by individuals and corporate organizations.

Nami, according to a statement by the Director, Communications, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila, revealed that his management has launched a comprehensive, tax collection reform process “anchored on four cardinal pillars of rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework; robust collaboration with stakeholders; building a customer or taxpayer-centric Institution; and a making the FIRS data-centric institution.”

He added that the board and management team have also set a target of improving the Service’s performance over the next four years by a “minimum target of $5 million staff-to-revenue- ration and a 10% tax-to-GDP ratio.”

Showing that the FIRS was gradually weaning Nigeria off its dependence on oil revenue, Nami disclosed that non-oil taxes “accounted for 60% contribution to the total collection” of taxes in 2019.

Projecting into this year, Nami stated: “For the year 2020, we have a target of N8.5 trillion. This is broken down into oil tax of N3.7 trillion and non-oil taxes target of N4.8 trillion.”

The FIRS boss assured that the Service would play its “strategic role in the nation’s political economy, including supporting the actualisation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment of moving the country up on the Ease of Doing Business Ranking and taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next
10 years and rebuilding Nigeria’s critical infrastructure.”

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