Just when we thought the peak in tax collection was attained, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) brought forward another harvest of revenue collection, peaking any collection in our nation’s history. The tax agency recently announced a total tax revenue collection of N5.5 trillion for the half-year period of January to June 2023 signifying the highest tax revenue collection ever recorded by the Service in any first six months of a fiscal year.
Even though this did not come as a shocker, it is still fascinating to see how the FIRS has improved so much under it’s current leadership and by extension set the country’s course on the path of economic growth, development and sustainability.
Prior to this feat, the Service achieved a total collection of N4.95 trillion in 2020 (representing 98% of target met). This was amidst the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy as well as the business disruptions and lootings during the #EndSARS protests. The tax agency collected in tax revenue the total sum of N6.405 trillion (representing 101% of target met) in 2021 and a total of N10.1 trillion in the year 2022.
The 2022 tax collection was the highest ever made by the FIRS in a single year, signifying over 96% of its collection target for the year, marking the highest tax collection ever recorded in its history and the first time that the FIRS will cross the N10 trillion mark in tax revenue collection. That was a jinx breaker as it rewrote Nigeria’s tax collection history and set in motion the journey to future collections in double digits.
There is no doubt that the coming of Muhammad Nami as Executive Chairman of the FIRS , birthed a new era of reinvigoration and transformation of the agency. His reforms and strategies have paved ways for the service to achieve much more than it had achieved in time past under previous leaderships.
The FIRS have been diligently building on the Executive Chairman’s 4-Cardinal Goals of: Making FIRS a Customer-Centric Institution; Making FIRS a data-centric Institution;
Improving Stakeholder Collaboration; and Rebuilding the Institutional Framework of the Service.
These goals were carefully curated to give direction towards transforming the service for improved tax revenue collection. The service at the same time identified more areas where it could improve in the delivery and efficiency of its collection. And this has no doubt yielded tremendous success as seen in it’s 2023-2024 tax revenue outlook presented to the National Economic Council.
During the presentation, Mr. Muhammad Nami noted that the service was able to collect N5.5 trillion in tax for the first half of the year as a result of “improved voluntary tax compliance by taxpayers, the continued improvement of automation of our tax administration processes, including the updated VAT filing processes; as well as our dogged engagement with stakeholders in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.”
The FIRS boss also stated that the tax revenue collected from the oil sector from January to June 2023, stood at N1.73 trillion, as against a target of N2.3 trillion; while non-oil tax collection stood at N3.76 trillion, as against a target of N2.98 trillion. With this, the agency has achieved over one hundred percent of its target for the first-half of the year when compared with a mid-year target of N5.3 trillion.
Further more, the Service collected a total of N1.65 trillion tax revenues in June 2023. This sum is the highest tax revenue collected by the Service in any single month.
With it’s continued hyper achievements, one question that keeps coming to mind is, what is this current management of the FIRS doing differently? What are they adding to the table that is yielding these progressive results?
Muhammed Nami while speaking on how the tax agency achieved its 2023 half-year collection on channels television Business Morning Show revealed the key reforms responsible for it’s continuous successes. The reforms includes: Improvement in stakeholder engagements; ensuring that taxpayers are satisfied; issuance of circulars to guide and educate taxpayers on tax laws, legislations, how to file, filing returns, etc;
enlightenment of taxpayers on their rights and obligations and redesigning the FIRS organizational structure to ensure optimum efficiency of staff.
Other reforms he stated include the constant training and retraining of FIRS staff to improve their capacity; the use of data and intelligence for tax collection and taxpayer profiling; building a comprehensive tax database; consistent stakeholder engagement in both the formal and informal sector; and deployment of the “TaxPro Max” as a tax administration solution as well as other technological tools automation of tax administration processes.
These reforms indeed are the contributors to the huge, unprecedented successes in revenue collection. Given its antecedent, one can confidently project better, prosperous days for the agency and the nation at large going forward. Mr. Nami also attested to this when he said that: “We believe that the performance in the second half of the year would be better considering the continuing improvement to our tax administration processes and positive impact of current government’s policies on the economy.”
The FIRS have a bigger target of N7.5 trillion for the second half of the year. It is almost certain that this will not be one nut too hard to crack for the agency and who knows, it might just surprise us again by exceeding its target as seen in the first half of 2023.
By JANTIKU IJANADA
Dangote Refinery to start production by October and November 2023
The Dangote Refinery is gearing up to commence refining operations, with plans to produce diesel and jet fuel by October 2023 and petrol by November 30, 2023, according to the Executive Director of the Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin.
According to reports, Edwin in an interview with newsmen disclosed that the refinery is on track to receive its first crude cargo within two weeks.
Initially, the facility is set to produce up to 370,000 barrels per day of diesel and jet fuel in October 2023.
Furthermore, Edwin outlined the refinery’s strategy for gradually increasing petrol production, to reach an impressive 650,000 barrels per day by November 30.
He expressed the refinery’s readiness to receive crude oil:
- “Right now, I’m ready to receive crude. We are just waiting for the first vessel. And so, as soon as it comes in, we can start.”
Regarding the shift in the original timeline, Edwin explained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) had already committed their crude oil to another entity on a forward basis, causing a temporary delay.
He assured that this setback is momentary, and the refinery will exclusively use Nigerian crude oil from November 2023 onwards.
Edwin highlighted that the Nigerian oil will be purchased in US dollars, not in naira, as the refinery operates within a free trade zone on the outskirts of Lagos. However, due to its equity stake, the NNPCL will supply some crude at discounted prices.
The Dangote refinery is equipped to process various crudes, including most African grades, Middle Eastern Arab Light, and even US light-tight oil.
- “We can take even some of the Russian grades… if the global system opens up to allow us to receive them. If you look at our production profile, 50% of my production will meet 100% of the requirements of the country.”
Excess gasoline, meeting 10 ppm sulfur Euro 5 quality, will be exported to other African markets, the US, and South America, albeit in relatively small volumes.
Jet fuel will be exported to Europe, while diesel will be sold in sub-Saharan Africa.
Edwin emphasized that the refinery would benefit Nigeria significantly, providing a reliable supply of environmentally friendly refined products and generating substantial foreign exchange for the country.
Furthermore, he noted that the Dangote refinery will play a pivotal role in addressing fuel supply challenges faced by import-dependent West Africa, particularly following Nigeria’s removal of fuel subsidies, which had resulted in a thriving illicit gasoline market due to price fluctuations.
Edwin added that the revenues generated from the refinery’s operations will be reinvested in further developments, underscoring Aliko Dangote’s commitment to Nigeria.
- “The money will be coming back in, and it will go for further investments,” he affirmed, highlighting Dangote’s dedication to the nation.
G20: Tony Elumelu Co-Chairs Business Council in India with President Tinubu
Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and CFR, will co-chair the G20 Business Council in India, joining President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the Nigeria-India Presidential roundtable during the G20 summit in New Delhi.
This collaborative event, organized by the Nigerian High Commission in India, CII, and NIBC, highlights President Tinubu’s address.
The G20 Business Council, also known as the Business 20 (B20), serves as the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community.
Established in 2010, the B20 is one of the most prominent Engagement Groups within the G20 framework, bringing together companies and business organizations to provide their perspectives on global economic and trade governance.
It speaks with a unified voice on behalf of the entire G20 business community.
One of the key objectives of the B20 is to promote economic integration in Africa. As stated on the B20 India website, the B20 aims to “offer extensive support to make this process a success and work towards African economic development.”
This agenda is expected to benefit not only nations within Africa but also have broader implications for global economic growth and cooperation.
The G20, comprised of the world’s largest and most advanced economies, is the foremost platform for international economic cooperation. Nigeria’s President, President Tinubu, was extended a special invitation by India, the current G20 host, earlier in the year, underscoring the nation’s role in shaping global economic discourse and collaboration.
Tinubu appoints Khalil Halilu as EVC/CEO of NASENI
President Tinubu has appointed Khalil Suleiman Halilu to be the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
Mr. Halilu’s appointment as Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer was confirmed by the Presidency on Friday, 1 September, according to the statement released by Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to President Tinubu on Media and Publicity.
As EVC/CEO of NASENI, Mr Halilu is expected to bring his significant experience as an innovator and technology expert to bear in this important new national assignment.
The newly appointed Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of NASENI who is 32 years old will serve an initial term of five years as specified by relevant sections of the NASENI Act, 2014, the statement revealed.
Mr. Halilu’s appointment hereby terminates the tenure of Dr. Bashir Gwandu as EVC/CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
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