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FIRS generates N3.30trn revenue, explains why 2016 budget was in reds

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has not only revealed that it collected N3.30 trillion revenue from taxes in 2016, but opened up on why the year’s budget was enmeshed in deficit.

Speaking on the last day of a three-day workshop on taxation for journalists in Lagos, Chairman of the federal agency, Mr. Tunde Fowler, said the haul fall short of the original target of N5tn.

He listed drop in oil price, drop in production output, slide in value of stocks during the period and challenges in the real sector for not meeting the year’s set target by the agency.

FIRS rolled out figures showing that it made more money for the federal government in 2015 as it grossed N3.74 trillion in revenue.

Fowler, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Communications and Servicom, FIRS, Mrs Nneka Ifekwuna, however, expressed optimism that the performance of the Service would improve in 2017.

While maintaining that the Services had stepped up the application of technology in revenue collection, Fowler disclosed that apart from deployment of technology, the agency was also applying persuasion and enlightenment of recalcitrant taxpayers to boost collection.

According to him, part of the new drive to grow revenue in the emerging 2017 financial year include an ongoing nationwide registration of new taxpayers to expand the tax net in the country for increased revenue.

He revealed that the registration process has already captured about new 814, 000 additional taxpayers as at December, 2016 in the tax basket which will mean increased earnings for the government henceforth.