By Etuka Sunday
The Domestic Tax Operation Group (DTOG) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has assured the Management and Board of the Service that it will work to “enable the Service to achieve its N8.5trillion revenue target”.
The Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad said, the TOG made the commitment in a communique it issued at the end of its two-day “2020 Tax Operation Group Retreat” in Abuja.
According to the communique, “the participants expressed their resolve to remain committed and continue to work hard towards realising the N8.5trillion revenue target set for the Service. TOG unanimously agreed that, with the new Management’s determination to empower and motivate the staff, the target would not only be achieved but be surpassed.
The group also observed that “tax evasion practices in Nigeria is worrisome”, stressing that “there is an urgent need to intensify enforcement action to stem the situation”.
It said the Service will keep track of all taxable entities’ company’s compliance “behavior” and “compliance with the use of “compliance programmes”, especially by integrating FIRS’ e-solution platforms with “the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and integrating Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) with Bank Verification Number (BVN).”
The TOG communique added: “The promotion of quality service delivering to taxpayers necessarily requires the adoption of technology. The Service was therefore admonished to intensify efforts towards completing the various ICT intervention, including the on-going VAT automation as well as the need to build a centralised taxpayer database to ease access to information.”
In his keynote address at the retreat, Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, who identified the TOG as “the engine room of the Service”, listed various policy measures and reforms he had taken to motivate the TOG and the FIRS as a whole to so that they can deliver on the tax revenue target.
Mr. Nami stated: “I urge you all to take up this challenge and justify the confidence the nation has reposed in us especially at this critical time when virtually all other sources of revenue for government are being challenged especially by the corona virus pandemic, the downward slide in the price of oil at the international market for as low as $30 per barrel against the $57 benchmark used for the budget. This gap has to be bridged somehow, and you are the bridge.”
Also, Head TOG, FIRS, Mr. Olufemi Oluwaniyi, gave an overview of reforms and related events to the TOG so far. Presenting the “State Coordinators Collection Performance” for the month of January, Mr. Oluwafemi stressed that the figures returned showed that the TOG has “so much to do. While it is true that the period collided with a serious nosedive in global economic fortunes as accentuated by the corona virus outbreak with particular toll on the Oil Market, we have a duty to roll up our sleeves and enhance our capabilities in the non-oil sector of the economy.”