The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it collected N4,952,243,711,728.37 as tax revenue in the 2020 fiscal year.
Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, Director of Communications and Liaison of the service made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ahmad explained that this achievement represented about 98 per cent of the national tax target of N5.076 trillion set for the FIRS by the Federal Government.
The director quoted the Executive Chairman of the Service, Mr Muhammad Nami, as saying that this performance was remarkable, considering the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the Nigerian economy.
He identified the all-time low price of crude oil in the international market, business disruptions and lootings during the #EndSars protests and generous tax waivers granted to ease the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown as some factors that hindered the FIRS operations last year.
He added additional tax exemptions granted to small companies in the 2019 Finance Act and insecurity in some parts of the country was another factor for what the service generated.
While analysing the significance of the 2020 performance, Nami said that the FIRS recorded this feat at a time when the price of oil hit an all-time low.
According to him, the oil which used to contribute more than 50 per cent in tax returns through the Petroleum Profits Tax in previous years, accounted for only 30.6 per cent of the tax revenue generated in 2020.
He also said that the non-oil tax collection was 109 per cent in 2020, which was nine per cent higher than the previous year.
The chairman attributed the success recorded in 2020 to many reforms initiated by the board and management of FIRS under his leadership.
He said the reforms included capacity building for staff, improved welfare package, promotion and proper placement of staff and deployment of appropriate technology for tax operations.
Others were segmentation of taxpayers to ease tax compliance and continuous collaboration with relevant stakeholders among others.
“The conscientious taxpayers in the country and dedicated members of staff of the FIRS nationwide for their support and devotion to work made this performance possible despite the numerous obstacles encountered in 2020.
“The FIRS is optimistic that this current fiscal year will be better than in 2020.
“We shall perform well, given that our service reforms are expected to yield greater dividends, especially as different parts of tax administration are being automated.
“We are also optimistic that exploration activities will improve in the oil sector and increase the prospect of higher tax revenue from the sector.
“Similarly, the ongoing reforms together with increased stakeholder collaborations will brighten the prospect of improved voluntary compliance and consequently higher tax revenue generation for the country this year and beyond,’’ he stated.
Nasarawa Assembly introduces bill to regulate private schools, tertiary institutions
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has announced the first reading of a bill aimed at regulating private schools and tertiary institutions in the state.
The bill, titled “A Bill for a Law to Regulate the Establishment and Operation of Private Nursery, Primary, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions in Nasarawa State and Other Matters Connected Therewith,” was introduced during the House proceedings on Monday in Lafia.
In addition to this bill, the House also passed two executive bills that focus on promoting education and skills training in the state.
The bills, if passed into law, are expected to enhance the quality of education and boost skills training across Nasarawa State.
Three bills have successfully passed their first reading in Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
The first bill, titled “A Bill For a Law to Establish the Wing Commander Abdullahi Ibrahim Vocational and Technology Institute, Lafia, and other Matters Connected Therewith,” aims to establish a vocati onal and technology institute in Lafia, the state capital. This institute will provide valuable skills training and education to the youth of the region.
The second bill, named “A Bill for A Law to Amend College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, Nasarawa State Law 2020, and Matters Connected Thereof,” seeks to amend the existing law governing the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology in Lafia.
The proposed amendments aim to enhance the college’s operations and ensure it remains at the forefront of agricultural and technological advancements.Lastly, the third bill, titled “the Bill for a Law to Regulate the Establishment and Operation of Private Nursery, Primary, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions in Nasarawa State and Other Matters Connected Therewith,” focuses on regulating the establishment and operation of private educational institutions in the state.
This bill aims to ensure that these institutions meet certain standards of quality and provide a conducive learning environment for students.
“The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, announced that the second reading of the bill for the establishment of the Wing Commander Abdullahi Ibrahim Vocational and Technology Institute, Lafia, and other related matters will take place on October 2.
The second reading of the bill to amend the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, Nasarawa State Law 2020, and matters connected thereof, will be scheduled for October 3.
These bills demonstrate the commitment of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly to improving the educational sector and providing opportunities for skills development in the state.
“I will slate Oct. 3, for the second reading of A Bill for A Law to Amend College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, Nasarawa State Law 2020, and Matters Connected Thereof.
“I will also slate Oct. 4 for the second reading of A Bill for a Law to Regulate the Establishment and Operation of Private Nursery, Primary, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions in Nasarawa State and Other Matters Connected Therewith,” he said.
Earlier, Alhaji Mohammed Omadefu, the Majority Leader of the House, moved motions for the bills to scale first readings.
The Minority Leader of the House, Mr Luka Zhekaba, seconded the motion.
The House unanimously passed the bills into first readings.
Inflationary pressures to ease by December – Economist, Yusuf
The Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf has said the current inflationary pressures might ease by December this year.
Yusuf disclosed this on Sunday in his Half Year Review of 2023.
His review comes amid the effect of fuel subsidy removal and foreign exchange reforms by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.
Consequently, the prices of goods and services sharply increased.
The National Bureau of Statistics said Nigeria’s inflation is 22.41 per cent. Nigerians have continued to lament the hike in the prices of goods and services.
Meanwhile, Yusuf said that the effect of fuel subsidy removal and forex reforms would be in the short term.
According to him, the challenges would gradually reduce before the year ends.
Meanwhile, Yusuf said the CBN should implement a sustainable intervention framework to moderate the volatility in the forex market.
“Inflationary pressure is expected to ease before the end of the year.
“It would pave the way for an equilibrium exchange rate which would be more tolerable and sustainable”, he stated.
Enugu residents frown at proposed electricity tariff hike
Residents of Enugu have expressed concern over the proposed 40 per cent hike in electricity tariff, beginning July 1.
The residents spoke on the issue in separate interviews with the Newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday.
An industrialist, Mr Jude Emordi, said the proposal would push up the cost of production, which would lead to a hike in the prices of manufactured goods.
Emordi also said that the proposed increase might chase many small businesses out of business.
“With an increase as high as 40 per cent, how do you think pure water producers can survive because this will lead to an increase in the production cost.
“The purchasing power of Nigerians will also reduce drastically, it is going to be terrible for many business owners and salary earners,” he said.
Also, a civil servant, Mrs Mercy Ofoma, advised that the proposal be shelved for now.
Ofoma said the new administration should first fulfil the palliative measures promised to cushion the effect of the oil subsidy removal.
“For me, the suffering will be much for poor Nigerian workers when everything begins to go up and salary remains static,” she said.
She argued that even an upward review of workers’ salary would not change anything.
Another resident, Miss Jane Okeke, said she envisaged tougher time ahead of the planned hike in the electricity tariff.
“It will be difficult to survive without light, especially those of us who do not use prepaid meters,” Okeke, a hairdresser said.
She advised that the proposal should be perished until every electricity consumer had been metered.
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