Saturday, May 18, 2024

Revenue Challenge: FIRS charges staff to meet ₦8.5tr target

Despite failing to meet its January 2020 tax target, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it expects nothing short of 100 percent target delivery from its tax operations.

Executive Chairman of the FIRS Mohammed Nami gave the charge in Abuja at the retreat of the Tax Operations Group of the FIRS.

Nami said a number of measures have been put in place to make the Tax Operations Group achieve the ₦8.5trillion target government demands of the Service.

According to Nami, “the 2019 Promotion Exercise earlier suspended will soon hold with a reviewed set of criteria seen as more friendly and designed to make as many staff as possible advance to the next level.”

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Nami also revealed that “vacancy positions have also been expanded. Soon after the 2019 exercise, that of the year 2020 will also hold.”

In order to bring FIRS closer to its customers and create more opportunities for growth and career progression Nami stated that he has broken up “some of the offices where there are potentials.”

So far, he has created six more offices with another seven about to be unveiled, which makes a total of 13.

The concluded ones he disclosed are: One Medium Tax Office (MTO) in Kaduna; One Large Tax Office (LTO) in Lagos West and four new Medium and Small Tax Office (MSTOs) in Lagos, at Victoria Island II, Ikoyi ll, Ajah II and Allen Avenue office from the present Ikeja MSTOs.

Those to come on board soon consist of three new MSTOs in Abuja from the present Wuse, Utako and Asokoro MSTOs and four additional MSTOs to be carved out of the present Port-Harcourt and Rumoukurushi MSTOs.

To help the tax operations group achieve the ₦8.5 trillion target, Nami disclosed that the management of FIRS has introduced new initiatives some which include: rejigging of the audit and investigation function so much so that the sector is now expected to deliver nothing less than 20% from respective office targets.

FIRS management has also introduced Automation of Tax Collection, geared towards automating tax collection in many sectors of the economy. “The roll out of these is very imminent, even though there have been all forms of resistance but we were able to wade through,” Nami said.

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In addition, enforcement function has also been redefined in terms of modus operandi for better performance and the “management is working on closing the gaps noticed in the area of necessary tools and facilities for effective performance. Plans have gone far to procure vehicles, computers, furniture etc.”

Responding, The Domestic Tax Operation Group (DTOG) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) assured the Management and Board of the Service that it will work to “enable the Service to achieve its ₦8.5trillion revenue target”.

The TOG unanimously agreed that, with the new Management’s determination to empower and motivate the staff, the target would not only be achieved but will be surpassed.

The group also observed that “tax evasion practices in Nigeria is worrisome”, stressing that “there is an urgent need to intensify enforcement action to stem the situation”.

It said the Service will keep track of all taxable entities’ compliance “behavior” and “compliance with the use of “compliance programmes”, especially by integrating FIRS’ e-solution platforms with “the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and integrating Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) with Bank Verification Number (BVN).”

The Service was admonished to intensify efforts towards completing the various ICT interventions, including the on-going VAT automation as well as the need to build a centralised taxpayer database to ease access to information.”

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