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FIRS generates N5trn, targets N5.3trn by year end

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The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler has said the Service has generated N5 trillion by the second week of December 2018, adding that the agency is at the verge of making N5.3 trillion at the end of the year.

If the FIRS pools N5.3 trillion revenue, that will be the highest revenue ever generated by FIRS in history. The highest in FIRS history is N5.07 trillion generated in 2012.

Fowler’s generation of N5 trillion is significant as it was at a period when oil prices oscillated between $50 and $70 per barrel. Oil price was at an average of $100 to $120 per barrel between 2010 and 2013.

Speaking at the induction of new members of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) on Wednesday in Abuja, Fowler said FIRS has been able to record significant achievements following maximum support from the Presidency, Ministry of Finance, the JTB and other taxation stakeholders.

“This year, the FIRS, with the support of the Presidency, Ministry of Finance, the JTB and other stakeholders, has been able to generate up to N5 trillion. We believe that we should be able to close at least at N5.3 trillion which should be the highest in the history of FIRS. And we believe that with that additional revenue, the state and federal governments would be able to provide more services and more development to the people of Nigeria”, he said.

Fowler urged the new inductees to JTB to equip themselves with new ideas and embrace the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to be able to face the reality of revenue collection in the ever-changing society.

“I see it as a privilege to be addressing this class of inductees today as history has chosen you at this critical point in time in our nations development to steer the ship of sustainable revenue generation.

“While preparing for this occasion, I came across an observation by the American inventor and author Ray Kurzweil where he noted that the rate of scientific and technological change is exponential rather than linear. This observation presupposes that the better part of applied wisdom requires that in our journey of life we are capable of identifying the most apt moment to know at what point to adapt to the ever-tumultuous sea that modern existence represents.

“It also indicates that we should be able to develop the ability to accept and embrace positive change, maybe due to the fact that change is inevitable, but more significantly that oftentimes, change presents us with the rare breaks that we can exploit to advance individual and collective goals and objectives”, he said.

The FIRS boss also stated that as global society continues to transform in structure and process, especially with new technologies and ways of doing things, the role that has been presented before tax administrators in an emerging economy such as Nigeria are quite enormous.

He said rather than being overwhelmed by the rapid changes of the 21st century, taxmen should remain undaunted and see the opportunities that are possible to us as a people in general and as tax administrators in particular.

“I believe that history has placed this responsibility on each and every one of us here today to be the critical success factors in our quest towards ensuring sustainable revenue generation for our various jurisdictions and for our country as well.

Developments in global politics and economics indicate a trend towards increased deemphasis on proceeds from oil and other commodity exports. Huge investments are being made everyday by more advanced economies towards seeking alternative energy sources; and sooner rather than later, oil as a mainstay of the nation’s economy will indeed no longer be sustainable, it is just a matter of time”, he added.

He further charged the JTB members: “This address is not an all doom and gloom affair, far from it. Rather, it is a clarion call to us all, especially you, our esteemed inductees, that though the path before you may seem strewn with sticks and stones, further down the road is a path paved with gold. To navigate to that path, we will need to have courage, a courage borne of our innate convictions towards being the tool for positive change in a time of economic uncertainty.

“The JTB presents a unique platform for you to be that change. Your positive actions as the drivers of revenue generation are capable of achieving much impact. They are capable of providing the much needed funds that will provide the care that saves the life of that infant who is born in the remotest parts of Birnin Magaji in Zamfara State.

“They can provide the funds that ensures that a disadvantaged little child can have access to free quality education in a government funded public school in Ijesa-Isu in Ekiti State. Your actions as drivers of sustainable revenue generation in your respective jurisdictions beyond the bigger picture can achieve the little things that bring about great outcomes in the life of a nation.

“It is in the light of this that I charge you, even as you speak the words of your Membership affirmation, that you look beyond the immediate and see the deeper significance of your roles and your responsibilities as members of the JTB.

“The modest achievements that we have been able to accomplish in terms of internal revenue growth in recent time only point to the fact of the immense possibilities before us. We are encouraged that the results of the 9-month period in 2018 indicates that we shall be breaking new boundaries by full year. However, we can only strive to improve on our efforts and not rest on our oars. We can only become better at what we do, and we can only do that by embracing the positive trends in tax administration. Trends in automation, professionalism, autonomy, service-oriented approach to the taxpayer and all the positive trends that conform with international best practice.

“We are confident that by the end of this exercise and after listening to the various presentations, we shall all be better equipped for the task ahead of us”, he said. Former Secretaries of JTB, Femi Edgar, Mohammed Lawal Abubakar and the incumbent, Oseni Salawe Elamah made presentations on the history and journey of the Board to the new inductees.

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THE NATION

ASUU to FG: You must pay N50b before resumption

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday insisted that the federal government must N50billion revitalisation fund for it to consider suspending its ongoing strike.

The Union also said it had lost confidence in government making empty promises which it will not keep to after agreements have been reached.

Other conditions attached to the suspension of the strike is the presentation of concrete evidences of the payment of the promised N20billion earned academic allowances and showing how the balance of N85billion will be paid with timelines.

ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi who stated this on Sunday in Ibadan while speaking to newsmen added that the members of the Union have said only concrete evidences of implementation by the government would make them return to the classrooms.

According to Ogunyemi, while ASUU has rejected Government’s proposal of N20billion (which is to be paid in two tranches) made by the government on the revitalisation of Universities, the union is asking government to mainstream the earned academic allowances into the 2019 budget which is still being worked on by the National Assembly.

He lamented that the Nigeria’s ruling class does not see education as a priority but prefer to create new education colonies of private educational institutions which cannot meet the needs of Nigerian children.

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THE NATION

$217.7b looted in Nigeria in 38 years – Magu

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The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has revealed the total money stolen in Nigeria between 1970 and 2008 was $217.7 billion.
Magu made this known during annual conference of the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, held in Abuja.
Represented by the EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, Magu said Nigeria constituted about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share of illicit financial outflow.
He said: “In February 2015, a High-level panel on illicit Financial Flows from Africa constituted by the African Union under the chairmanship of the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, revealed that Nigeria ranked first among 10 African countries by Cumulative Illicit Financial flows between 1970 and 2008.
“The total outflow from Nigeria for the period was $217.7 billion, constituting about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share.”
Magu also said the investigation, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries undertaken by EFCC over the years confirmed that the level of corruption in Nigeria was truly staggering.
He said: “The various investigations, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries we have been undertaking at the EFCC over the years have confirmed to us that the level of corruption in Nigeria us truly staggering.
“Thus horrible and inhuman crime is being perpetrated by individuals and groups in both the private and public sectors all over the country.
“The latter include serving and defunct state governors, cabinet ministers, high ranking officers, chief executives of parastatals, and top bureaucrats in the state and federal government agencies.
“The alarming rate of corruption committed by these unpatriotic elements can be partly seen in the number of convictions secured by the EFCC from Nigerian courts since I assumed duty as the head of the Commission in 2015.
“The figure stands at 103 in 2015, 195 (2016), 189 (2017) and 312 for the period January to November 2018.
“The total figure for the period January 2015 to 2018 is a mind blowing 799 convictions.
“In the process of such convictions, the EFCC recovered: N794.5 billion, $261 million, £1.1 million, 8.1 million euro and CFA 86,500.
“Other recoveries under my tenure include: Seized 407 mansions, 281 under interim forfeiture and 126 under final forfeiture.
“Confiscated hundreds of filling stations, petroleum products, real estate, heavy machineries and investment shares.
“Seized 87 lands, 56 under interim forfeiture and 42 under final forfeiture.

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THE NATION

Acting IG Adamu reverses Idris last-minute postings

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Strong indications emerged Tuesday that four out of the seven Deputy Inspectors-General of Police in the Nigeria Police Force may leave the force alongside the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who retired on Tuesday.

It was gathered that the DIGs, who are members of the Police Management Team and senior to the acting IG, Mohammed Adamu, might be forced out of the service to pave the way for him to set up a new management team he could work with.

It was gathered that those that might be affected by the reorganisation include DIG Maigari Dikko in Charge of Department of Finance and Administration; DIG Joshuak Habila, Department of Operations; DIG Emmanuel Inyang, Information and Communications Technology; and DIG Agboola Oshodi-Glover, Logistics and Supply Departments.

Police sources said that DIGs Mohammed Katsina (Research and Planning Department); Sani Mohammed (Training and Development Department); and Peace Madueke -Abdallah (Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department) who were promoted late last year could survive the impending purge of the Police Management Team.

“The three DIGs were on the same rank as Adamu last year. In fact, Abdallah was a Commissioner of Police the same time the acting IG was also a CP, so they were almost on the same level. By virtue of this fact, the new police boss may include them in his management team and save their career from sudden death.”

It was gathered that Abdallah, who has about six years to retire, may be the worst casualty of the purge if Adamu decided to dispense with all the police management team members.

The decision to retain any of the PMT members rested on the acting IG, who is expected to write to the Police Service Commission about his chosen team members.

Meanwhile, the new Police Chief has reportedly reversed some last-minute postings and redeployments carried out by Idris few days before his retirement.

It was gathered that the redeployment of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, by the former IG was overturned while other senior officers who were also posted to new commands and formations had been asked to stay action until further notice.

This development, sources said, meant that the redeployment order by Idris would not be obeyed unless sanctioned by the acting IG.

Shortly after meeting with the DIGs in his office at the force headquarters, Adamu was seen going from floor to floor, meeting officers and familiarising himself with his men.

The acting IG, who was decorated with his new rank at the State House by President Muhammadu Buhari, hailed from Lafia, Nasarawa State, and is a holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Geography.

He enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent and had attended several Senior Officer Courses on Law Enforcement, Crime Prevention, Control and Management within and outside Nigeria.

Before his appointment as acting IG, he was at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.

He was also the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti and Enugu states and also Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5 Police Command Headquarters, Benin, Edo State.

Earlier on Tuesday, the acting IG said the police under his watch would be professional and fair to all parties while providing security for the general elections beginning on February 16.

Adamu stated that there were rules of engagement for the Nigeria Police, adding they would be strictly applied in dealing with security matters. He stressed that the police would not pander to the desires of any groups or interests.

Adamu was decorated by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa. Idris, who was appointed IG in 2016, bowed out on Tuesday as he retired from service at the age of 60 years.

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