Nigeria’s revenue agency, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), raked in a total of N4.9 trillion as revenue in 2020.
The amount, according to the FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami, represents about 98% of the national tax target of N5.076 trillion that was set for the agency by the Nigerian Government.
A statement signed by the FIRS Director of Communications and Liaison quoted Nami as saying the feat was remarkable despite the economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic; the global decline of crude oil prices; business disruptions and lootings during the #EndSARS protests; tax waivers granted to ease the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown; tax exemptions granted to small companies in the 2019 Finance Act; and insecurity in some parts of the country.
According to the FIRS Chairman, crude oil, which used to contribute over 50 percent in tax returns through the petroleum profits tax in previous years, accounted for only 30.6 percent of the total revenue generated in the year under review.
He attributed the revenue generation success in 2020 to a number of reforms initiated by the agency’s management under his leadership.
“The FIRS is optimistic this current fiscal year 2021 will be better than 2020. We shall perform exceedingly well given that our service reforms are expected to yield greater dividends, especially as different parts of tax administration is being automated,” Nami said.
“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 by the Service 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.”