The Federal Tax Service (FIRS) plans to introduce a road infrastructure tax to generate funds for road construction, rehabilitation, maintenance and safety, the agency’s executive chairman Muhammad Nami said on Thursday.

Mr. Nami’s media and communications assistant Johannes Wojuola quoted him as saying this as he received a delegation from the Union of Journalists of Nigeria in his office in Abuja.

The NUJ delegation, according to Wojuola, was headed by its national president, Chris Isiguzo.

Mr. Nami said the proposed tax was the only way to ensure that the informal sector contributes to building a modern society.

“The only way to make the informal sector contribute to the construction of a modern society is to make it pay when it uses the roads.

“That is why we are proposing that the government consider introducing a tax on road infrastructure in Nigeria,” he said.

He noted that “in many jurisdictions road users pay for the use of road infrastructure as such, this should not be seen as an additional burden on our citizens as it has the potential to improve the life of each of us ”.

He added that the Nigerian economy is now “heavily dependent” on non-oil revenues to fulfill its legal responsibility to pay wages and provide social amenities to citizens.

“Without the tax you pay, governments at all levels would not be able to fulfill their mandate to voters. Tax money also helps ensure that the roads you take are safe and always in good condition, ”he said.

READ THE FULL FIRS STATEMENT

FIRS offers road infrastructure financing program for Nigeria

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, says it is proposing the introduction of a road infrastructure tax in Nigeria, so that the informal sector can help build a modern society.

FIRS Executive Chairman Muhammad Mamman Nami revealed this Thursday as he received a delegation from the Union of Journalists of Nigeria, NUJ, led by its National Chairman, Chris Isiguzo, in his office in Abuja.

Nami said the proposed road infrastructure tax, which will be administered by FIRS, will provide the government with adequate funding for road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance, as well as the necessary safety for the country’s roads.

According to the executive chairman of the FIRS, “the only way to make the informal sector contribute to the construction of a modern society is to make it pay when it uses the roads”. He stated.

“This is why we are proposing that the government consider introducing a tax on road infrastructure in Nigeria. “

He noted that “in many jurisdictions road users pay for the use of road infrastructure as such, this should not be seen as an additional burden on our citizens as it has the potential to improve the lives of all of us ”.

Speaking further, Nami said that the Nigerian economy currently relies heavily on non-oil revenues to fulfill its legal responsibility to pay wages and provide social amenities to citizens.

“Without the tax you pay, governments at all levels would not be able to fulfill their mandate to voters. Tax money also helps ensure that the roads you use are safe and always in good condition, ”he said.

Nami also said that despite the harsh practices of some companies who used to evade taxes, shifting their capital and profits to tax havens, as well as low income from corporate tax. oil profits, due to the crude oil production deficit, among other factors, the FIRS proposed crucial reforms that have had a positive impact on the operations of the Service.

Federal Tax Service (FIRS)
Federal Tax Service, Zone 5 Abuja (FIRS)

“The adoption of technology in tax administration is crucial to improve domestic revenue mobilization in the face of falling oil prices to avoid slipping into debt crisis. It is in this context that TaxPro-Max has become the effective filing channel for tax returns in naira from June 7, 2021.

“The TaxPro-Max enables registration, filing of returns, payment of taxes and automatic crediting of withholding tax and other credits to taxpayer accounts, among other features. The technology also provides a single view to taxpayers for all transactions with the service. Nami explained.

Muhammad Nami also noted that the Directorate of the Service has established two core units, the Department of Intelligence, Exploration and Analysis of Strategic Data (ISDMA) and the Department of Tax Incentives Management (TIMD). as part of institutional reforms aimed at generating more income and preventing income leakage. .

“While TaxProMax will serve as a flagship tool for data mining, it will be complemented by other tools that the Intelligence, Strategic Data Mining and Analysis department can deploy, with the department’s data engineers performing the necessary distillations.

“Management has also created the Tax Incentives Management Department to manage, implement and report on tax incentives provided for by applicable laws and regulations. The TIMD is in particular in charge of the taxation of companies / companies benefiting from tax exemptions and holidays. Companies benefiting from Pioneer incentives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), cooperative societies, companies in export processing zones (EPZ), free zones (FTZ), oil and gas export free zones (OGEFZ), those engaged in downstream gas use and all others benefiting from tax exemptions are managed by TIMD to prevent revenue leakage, so these companies / businesses do not use their status as cover to earn taxable income and refuse to pay taxes on that income. ” He stated.

Nami added that the service has established 10 regional value-added tax, VAT coordination offices across the country to pilot VAT collection.

The FIRS Executive Chairman stressed that these reforms are already bearing fruit, including the collection of the sum of 4.2 trillion naira between January and September 2021, the successful facilitation of the ISO 27001: 2013 certification of the FIRS information exchange. Center, and the achievement of 114.66% of the VAT collection target in the first half of the year.

“It will interest you to know that the service collected a total of 4.2 trillion naira between January and September 2021. This feat was achieved through the efficiency and effectiveness of the TaxProMax solution and intelligence / data that we have collected, extracted and analyzed. in the period under review.

“The service successfully facilitated mock and external audits for ISO 27001: 2013 certification of the Information Clearinghouse (EOI), in order to meet international standards for information security management,” a- he declared.

While congratulating Isiguzo on his recent re-election as National President of the NUJ, which reflected his outstanding achievements in the NUJ, he urged NUJ members to be constructive in their criticism of the operations of the Service, urging that they “should always confirm or verify the sources and accuracy of information.

Earlier, NUJ National President Isiguzo said the union’s visit was part of its determination to engage critical institutions as a key stakeholder in charting the way forward for the collective good of the country.

The NUJ President described FIRS as a vital institution in the country, which “needs all the support it needs, especially at a time when the country is under security threat, affected by Covid-19 and faced with the FOREX crisis as well as political intrigues from different parts of the nation.

He said the NUJ had closely noted the “vigorous efforts of FIRS to consolidate the country’s revenue by deploying the required technology and personnel in this regard. Your digital technology solution, TaxPro-Max, is of interest to the Union.

“The numbers show that it has helped increase the efficiency of tax administration and collection rates across the country.

“However, with your recent admission that only around 44 million out of a possible total of 100 million and above who pay taxes, there is an urgent need to launch a strong integrated media campaign to attract more Nigerians into the tax net. that the NUJ is ready to lead.

Isiguzo assured the Executive Chairman of FIRS and his management team that NUJ would commend the agency where it has shown nobility.

He noted, however, that the union will not hesitate to criticize FIRS constructively and hold it accountable to the Nigerian people, in accordance with the constitutional guarantee contained in Chapter 22 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola

SA / Media and Communication to the Executive Chairman, FIRS

21 October 2021

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