Babatunde Fowler, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Chairman Babatune Fowler has said $50 million was realised through the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) since July.
Fowler said this at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGFS) annual IGR Peer Learning Event.
“I am glad to note that a lot of enquires have been made both at the states and federal levels. At the federal level, over $50 million has been realised through this scheme,” Fowler said, urging the public to support the tax authorities and revenue agencies.
The FIRS chair expressed hope that the database of tax payers would be completed, stating that from next year, defaulters may not enjoy government services.
“ I will like to inform everyone here that the consolidation of our tax database is now being completed. This means that before the end of 2017, wherever you are, as long as you are a tax administrator, you hit the button and know the tax status of any individual and organisations, regardless of where they are located.
“There will also be a time when we ask other revenue agencies, such as Customs and Immigration, that their services should be offered to only tax inclined corporations and individuals,” he said.
“We highlighted sometime last year that before you get service from any of these organisations, be it Immigration for your passport renewal, issuance, you have to show evidence of your tax payment. I am glad to report that by the end of this year we will be in the position to confirm the tax status of individuals and corporate organisations and those that are in default will not be allowed to benefit from government services.”
Fowler also noted that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the FIRS and various state revenue bodies was making progress.
“I am glad to note that the governors and commissioners of finance have agreed in principle to update as all states have been signed on, we hope from this month on, all states will be complaint with remittance of VAT and holding tax as at when due.
“This will not only increase IGR at the state level but will also increase IGR at the federal level. It also note that the VAT collected, 25% goes back to the states,” Fowler said.
NGF Director-General Asishana Okauru said 23 states recorded growth in IGR, despite the recession in 2016.
He said “Overall growth in IGR was 20 percent from N687 billion in 2915 to N821 billion in 2016 – far up from a three percent contraction recorded previously. We have an opportunity to strengthen the reform environment, by replicating these reforms across other states. At the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat, we have resolved to play a more active role in this process. Through our Help Desk Programme, we can provide technical assistance to states; and in the coming year, we plan to expand our support to other areas in public financial management.”
The NGF has also entered into partnership with Department for International Development’s PERl Programme, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as parr of the efforts to bring reforms to states.