The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced that it generated about 98 per cent of its targeted revenue for the year 2020.
The tax body on Tuesday in a statement issued in Abuja by its Director of Communications, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, that the sum of N4.952 trillion was generated as revenue last year, a shortfall of N124 million of its target for the year.
Recall that the agency had projected to rake in N5.076 trillion in 2020, but the year was riddled by COVID-19 pandemic, which may have affected its revenue generated drive because the economy was shut down for months.
In the statement, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, was quoted to have described the performance of the agency as remarkable, considering the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian economy.
He pointed out that some of the factors that negatively affected the operations of FIRS last year included low crude oil prices, business disruptions and lootings during the violent #EndSARS protests and the generous tax waivers granted to businesses to ease the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.
He also said that additional tax exemptions granted to small businesses in the 2019 Finance Act and insecurity in some parts of the country were other factors that affected collections.
In the breakdown of the 2020 performance, the FIRS Chairman said that the oil revenue, which used to contribute over 50 per cent in tax returns through the Petroleum Profits Tax (PTT) in previous years, accounted for only 30.6 per cent of the tax revenue generated in 2020 due to low oil prices.
He also pointed out that the non-oil tax collection, which was 109 per cent in 2020, was 9 per cent higher than the previous year and attributed these achievements to many reforms initiated by the board and management of FIRS under his leadership.
Some of these reforms include the deployment of technology for tax operations, capacity building for staff, improved welfare for staff and so on.
He further said, “The conscientious taxpayers in the country and dedicated members of staff of the FIRS nationwide for their support and devotion to work made this performance possible despite the numerous obstacles encountered in 2020.
“The FIRS is optimistic that this current fiscal year will be better than in 2020. We shall perform well, given that our service reforms are expected to yield greater dividends, especially as different parts of tax administration are being automated.”
“We are also optimistic that exploration activities will improve in the oil sector and increase the prospect of higher tax revenue from the sector.
“Similarly, the ongoing reforms together with increased stakeholder collaborations will brighten the prospect of improved voluntary compliance and consequently higher tax revenue generation for the country this year and beyond,” he added.