The Presidency appears displeased with the taxes the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has collected in the last three years.
This is despite the fact that the FIRS generated the largest revenue in the nation’s tax history when it collected N5.3 trillion in taxes in 2018 and is targeting N8 trillion in 2019.
The Presidency conveyed its displeasure at the FIRS’ collection efforts in a query issued to the Executive Chairman of the FIRS Mr. Tunde Fowler by the Chief of Staff to the President Alhaji Abba Kyari.
The query circulating in the social media titled: “RE: Budgeted FIRS Collections and actual collections” reads: “Your attached letter (FIRS/EC/ECW/0249/19/027 dated 26 July 2019) on the above subject matter refers.
“We observed significant variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018.
“Accordingly, you are kindly invited to submit a comprehensive variance analysis explaining the reasons for the variances between budgeted and actual collections for each main tax item for each of the years 2015 to 2018.
The query marked “Restricted” added that “we observed that the actual collections for the period 2015 to 2017 were significantly worse than what was collected between 2012 and 2014. Accordingly, you are kindly invited to explain the reason for the poor collections.”
Kyari directed Fowler “to respond by 19 August 2019.”
The development has raised questions over the propriety of the query given that there is no Minister of Finance and did the query come from the Permanent Secretary of the ministry.