Written by Godfrey AKON

FIRS moves to block $10 billion tax leaks

Effort is being made by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to block over $10 billion tax leak by multinational corporations.

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, said he has launched a comprehensive, ongoing 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.”

Nami said Nigeria was losing about $10 billion of tax through illicit profit shifting by multinational corporations operating in the country.

The FIRS Chairman, who disclosed this on Friday at the start of the service’s 2020 Management Retreat in Abuja, stated that such humongous sum would have been applied to critical infrastructure development by the three tiers of government.

While citing the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report, he said: “Africa is losing $50 billion through profit shifting by Multinational Corporations and about $10 billion of this amount is from Nigeria alone.”

A statement by FIRS’ Director of Communications, Abdullahi Ismaila, said the FIRS Chairman, his board and 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.”

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

Making his projections for 2020, he said “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 chief assured that the Service would play its “strategic role in the nation’s political economy, including supporting the actualization 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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