Presidency queries FIRS Chairman over tax receipts

The Presidency gave a query rather than a letter extending the tenure of the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, whose four-year tenure expired on Saturday.

In a letter circulating on social media and dated August 8, 2019, Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, gave Fowler up till today (August 19) to respond to the query — two days after his tenure would have expired.

He was appointed for a renewable term of four years on August 18, 2015.

In the query, Kyari wrote: “Your attached letter (FIRS/EC/CWP/0249/19/027 dated 26 July 2019) on the above subject matter, refers.

“We observed significant variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018. Accordingly, you are kindly invited to submit a comprehensive variance analysis explaining the reasons for the variances between budgeted and actual collections for each main tax item for each of the years 2015 to 2018.

“Furthermore, we observed that the actual collections for the period 2015 to 2017 were significantly worse than what was collected between 2012 and 2014. Accordingly, you are kindly to explain the reasons for the poor collections.

“You are kindly invited to respond by 19 August 2019.

“Please accept the assurances of my highest regards.”

Reports said government observed that In 2015, FIRS set N4.7 trillion target but was only able to make N3.7 trillion in the actual collection.

In 2016 the target collection was N4.2 trillion, but the actual was N3.3trillion.

The same happened in 2017, when tax revenue estimate was put at N4.8 trillion, but only N4trillion entered the treasury.

In 2018, government also noted that N6.7 trillion was estimated for collection, but the actual collection was N5.3 trillion.

Calls to the spokesman of the agency, Wahab Gbadamosi did not go through on Sunday night.

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