By Etuka Sunday
The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, has urged revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to stop spending revenues collected on behalf of the Federal Government for themselves, stressing that doing so is inimical to national development.
According to Mr. Nami, the global best practices is for all MDAs to remit all collected government revenues to the Federation Accounts from where they are disbursed back to the MDAs through budgetary allocations as provided for in the national, state and local government development plans.
The Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad in a statement said, Mr. Nami gave the admonition on Tuesday at the FIRS headquarters in Abuja during a courtesy call on him by the Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello.
The FIRS helmsman said: “Revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should stop spending money generated for the Federal Government at source. The practice whereby MDAs spend the revenue generated and only send what is left or their surplus to Federation Accounts hinders national development plan. The best practice is for the generated revenues to be remitted in total to the Federation Accounts first. This should include their statutory share of the collected revenue. The total amount due to them will still come back to them through budgetary provisions.
“This is what we do at the FIRS. We remit everything we collect directly to the Federation Accounts first and our statutory 4% share of non-oil tax comes back to us through budgetary allocations.
“State and local government agencies which generate revenues should also adopt this arrangement for proper accountability, fiscal discipline and rapid development.”
Governor Sani-Bello, who was accompanied by a large entourage of Niger State officials, elected members representing the state at the National Assembly and other eminent personalities from the state, including the Emir of Agaie, Alhaji Yusuf Nuhu, expressed confidence in Mr. Nami to deliver the N8.5 trillion tax revenue target set for the FIRS by the Federal Government in this fiscal year.
The governor asked Mr. Nami to help Niger State to improve on its internally generated revenue (IGR) profile through a synergy between the state and the FIRS, a request which the FIRS chief acceded to by promising to help boost the capacity of officials in the Niger State revenue generating agencies in order to hit a commendable level of IGR.
Mr. Nami expressed his deep appreciation to Governor Sani-Bello and his entourage for the honour done to him with the visit as a fellow Nigerlite, assuring them that he would do his best on this national assignment at the FIRS and not disappoint them.