Public service recognition a morale booster for us, FIRS
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, has stated that his recognition by the LEADERSHIP Awards as the Newspaper’s Public Service Person of the Year 2022 is a morale booster for the Service to do more.
Mr. Nami stated this while speaking to journalists after receiving the LEADERSHIP Public Service Person of the Year 2022 Award at the 14th Edition of the LEADERSHIP Annual Conference and Awards, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja yesterday.
“We feel honoured to receive this award, and in fact feel more indebted to Nigerians to do better in the years to come,” he noted.
“We are grateful to the media, and most especially the LEADERSHIP Newspaper for finding us worthy of this honour.
“Permit me to dedicate this Award to the FIRS family, and rename it as ‘the LEADERSHIP Public Institution of the Year Award 2022’—not Muhammad Nami’s. This Award is the result of a collective effort. It is because of team work that we have been able to achieve what we have done at the FIRS.”
The FIRS boss stated that the Award was a recognition for the reforms that the Service had carried out, and their consequent results.
“We have carried out so many reforms that have brought us to this proud moment: we have rebuilt the institutional structure of the Service; we have ensured we carry our taxpayers along; we have created an environment for ease of tax payment; we have deployed big data in our operations; we have taken our stakeholders—including the media, seriously; among many others.
“When we came on board, we met a Service that was collecting tax revenue within the region of 5 trillion for a period of nine years. In 2021 we broke that jinx, and crossed over the 6-trillion Naira mark. We did not rest on our oars, in 2022, by sheer determination and collective effort we raked in N10.1 trillion in tax revenue—the highest sum in our nation’s history.”
Speaking on the prospects for the year 2023, Mr. Muhammad Nami stated that the FIRS would do everything within its means to ensure that government does not lack the needed resources to cater for the needs of the Nigerian people.
“It is not easy to collect taxes. I believe that after the issue of tackling insecurity, the second most difficult task for our government is to collect taxes. But we will continue to appeal to Nigerians to pay their taxes, and help them understand that without taxes, salaries cannot be paid; without taxes, roads cannot be built; without taxes our lives and properties cannot be secured. “I want to assure Nigerians that we would do everything within our means to ensure that the governments at the three tiers are funded to provide these services and needs to the Nigerian people.
“We have already commenced the journey to do better, well before the new year. We have appointed telecommunication companies and deposit money banks to act as agents of VAT collection for us. They would deduct VAT at source from their Contractors and, or Service providers, and remit same to us.
“Also, we are extending our collaboration further, beyond local local stakeholders and engaging with the international community to ensure that we have seamless flow of information required for tax administration.
“We would also work tirelessly to ensure that we improve our automation so that we are able to serve our taxpayers better than previous years.”
Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola
Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS
(Media & Communication)
February 1, 2023
“Nigeria College of Taxation and Fiscal Studies” Bill Passes Second Reading
A bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria College of Taxation and Fiscal Studies passed its Second Reading last week at the Senate.
The presentation of the Bill was made by Senator Abdullahi Aliyu Sabi CON on the floor of the Senate Tuesday last week, where he noted that the institution, if established would provide professional and academic training as well as certification for tax administrators, tax practitioners and tax professionals across the country.
In his presentation, Senator Sabi, who represents Niger North Senatorial District of Niger State stated that the College had become necessary given the important role that taxation is playing in the nation’s economy, and that this institution would help formulate and draft tax policy for the country while addressing human capital gaps in the country’s tax industry.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that diversifying the sources of government revenue to focus on sustainable sources is inevitable. This diversification puts taxation at the centre of the revenue mobilization discussion; the attainment of this laudable objective would require tax experts who have been properly and adequately schooled to formulate tax policy, draft and interpret tax legislation, carry on private tax practice, and administer taxation in the modern era.
“In view of the constant shift in the social, technological and business environment, with direct impact on the tax system, it is is important to have skills, competence, and adaptable personnel to man the tax system. There must be a conscious development of the field of taxation and fiscal policies in Nigeria to awake the society on the importance of taxation as a sine qua non to our development.
“Nigeria must go beyond the mere inclusion of taxation in the curriculum of educational institutions; instead the country must establish a modern system that facilitates the study of taxation via a well laid out academic curriculum, guided and focused by practical realities of Nigerian taxation and the revenue ecosystem,” he noted.
Senator Sabi further emphasised that the College would help in tackling the issue of lack of sufficient capacity of tax officers, which he noted has led to “the delegation of powers of revenue authorities to third parties, creating complications, multiplicity and uncertainty in the tax system,” and that it would correct “aggressive and orthodox methods for tax collection” while also carrying out a “regular review of obsolete tax laws that do not reflect modern realities.”
He noted that all these would help the country address its fiscal and revenue challenges and achieve the objectives of the National Tax Policy.
In his presentation, the distinguished Senator representing Niger North also cited that countries such as Kenya, Japan, India, Australia, Austria, Singapore, and Malaysia have established similar institutions for developing capacity in taxation, excise duty and customs and fiscal matters, and that this has impacted positively on their economy through significantly high tax-to-GDP ratios.
This College is expected to provide training for tax officials, including officers of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs, sub-national revenue authorities, and even the general public. It is to consist of a main campus and 12 regional centres.
The Bill proposes that the College would be funded chiefly by the extant yearly subvention of the FIRS for training thus requiring no direct impact on government spending.
Senator Adamu Aliero representing Kebbi Central District, Kebbi State, commenting on the Bill noted that the only sustainable source of revenue for the Federation was taxation, and that the proposed College would train tax officials who would be instrumental to widening the country’s tax net.
He also added that there is currently no institution in Nigeria that offers specialised training in taxation.
NLC, CBN meet in Abuja over Cash scarcity
In less than 24 hours after the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, directed all its branches and affiliate unions to mobilize members for a shut down of all the branches of the Central Bank of Nigerian, CBN, across the country, over cash scarcity, the apex bank on Thursday evening met with the NLC at the Labour House Abuja.
Recall that the Comrade Joe Ajaero-led NLC, had on Wednesday while addressing journalists said that activities in all branches of the CBN nationwide and the Abuja headquarters will be shut down on Wednesday next due to the cash crunch in the country.
Comrade Ajaero had advised workers to stockpile food items as the industrial dispute with the CBN will be total.
He said Nigerians have been subjected to untold hardship occasioned by the scarcity of naira notes to attend to medical needs and other areas of need.
Vanguard gathered that the NLC threat to paralyze activities at the CBN necessitated the impromptu meeting which started at about 5 pm on Thursday.
The two man delegation made up of the CBN Deputy Gpvrrnor in charge of operations and the Deputy Governor in charge of Economic Pokicy, told the NLC President that about two billion naira was pushed out on Thursdsy in a bid to address the hardship.
A source privy to the meeting told Vanguard that the CBN promised to ensure that the scarcity of naira notes will come to an end as quickly as possible.
“They said the money they pushed out today is equivalent to the whole money pushed out within the week. They also promised to work day and night starting from this night to ensure that there is enough money in the banks,” the source said.
He further said that the CBN denied the allegation that it was printing money out of the country and that the Governor, Godwin Emefiele has directed that the old naira notes should be made available to customers.
Besides, the source denied the allegation that the old naira notes have been burnt, assuring that there will be remarkable improvement in few days to come.
It was gathered that the NLC President, Comrade Ajaero told the CBN delegation that he was not interested in how much that was pushed out, but only interested in seeing that workers and other Nigerians collect their money in banks without stress..
“The President told them that it does not bother us how much they pushed out, our concern is to see that this hardship comes to a stop.
“He also told them that they should work day and night to solve the problem and will depend on the feedback from the average Nigerians who go to the banks to make withdrawals whether there is improvement before Wednesday next week NLC planned to picket the apex bank ,” the source said.
When contacted, the NLC President, Comrade Ajaero, confirmed the meeting and said that the interest of the leadership is to see that Nigerians are able to withdraw their money devoid of the hardship they are passing through.
“We will only know that they are serious when we see improvement,” he added.
EFCC Arraigns FCMB Manager Over N55Million Overdraft Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Kichime Gomwalk, a bank manager and two others for alleged fraud.
Gomwalk of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Michael Damkas Buayam of Tan Global Energy Limited, and Abbas Andrew Dayilim of Castlegate International Limited were arraigned on Tuesday before Justice P. S. Gang of the Plateau State High Court Jos.
The accused persons were arraigned on five counts bordering on stealing, cheating and obtaining by false pretence money to the tune of N55,000.000.00 (fifty-five million naira).
Gomwalk, while serving as the manager of the bank’s branch at Murtala Mohammed Way in Jos, the Plateau State capital, was alleged to have forged COCIN Gratuity Certificate of Pledge/Letter of Set-Off dated December 30, 2019, purportedly co-signed by Mrs. Monica Bitrus Tang and Rev (Dr.) Amos Musa Mohzo, Directors.
It was allegedly used to secure an overdraft facility from FCMB Plc to the tune of N55 million with COCIN Gratuity account number 100GOMWALK379 domiciled with FCMB Plc.
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