The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said it has collected the sum of N4. 012 trillion in three quarters (January-September 2019), Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler told the Senate Committee on Appropriations Thursday in Abuja.
The amount is N77.89 billion above the N3.941 trillion collected between January-September 2018.
At the 2020 National Budget hearing before the Senate Committee on Finance, Comptroller General Customs, Rtd. Col. Hameed Ali said the closure of Nigerian borders to a deluge of imports is not solely about revenue.
Rather it’s about the protection of Nigerians from bandit, illegal drug importers and merchants dumping expired rice and other products on Nigerians. “Even at that, we are not doing badly since we closed the borders. Before we closed the border, we were doing N4. 7 billion daily. Now, we realise N5.8 billion daily. But it is more than that.
Fowler on the other hand challenged Senators to have the courage to pass legislations that will send tax evaders to jail. If they do, he said, the over 40,000 taxpayers who have between N100 million and N 1billion as turnover in their accounts, who are not paying taxes will quickly pay their taxes.
“Just a little over 3000 of the taxpayers who have lien on their accounts have paid N103 billion. In Nigeria, if you have the courage to pass laws that will send tax defaulters to jail, the 40,000 tax defaulters will pay.
“In terms of whether revenues cannot be generated by enforcement, we have gone over various programmes to bring people into the tax net. Before this in 2016, there was a tax amnesty in which 5000 companies came through and they also paid N92 billion within 45 days. VAIDS was also N90 billion. And it took one year. The question I’d like to ask you is, can N90bn make a difference in a developed or even a developing country? It will make a lot of difference. These are businesses or individuals that have income but had refused to pay taxes. Currently, we have close to 40, 000 of those accounts under lien for which they have not paid any taxes.”