Despite the current economic meltdown Nigeria is battling with, arising from the drastic fall in the price of oil in the international market, the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) has raked in a total of N1.8 trillion as tax revenues into the national treasury between January and June this year.
This was even as money bags in the country, like private jets owners totalling 130, indulge in tax evasion in one way or the other.
The acting executive chairman of the FIRS, Mr Samuel Ogungbesan, made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja while making submissions before the Senate leadership on the workings of his agency as regards the need to shore-up non oil revenues for augmentation of the dwindling oil revenue.
The breakdown of the N1.8 trillion tax revenues, according to FIRS boss, are N697 billion from the Petroleum Profit Tax, N778 billion from Company Income Tax and N390 billion from Value Added Tax.
He said, “As at the end of June, the Petroleum Profit Tax has given us N697 billion for the first six months of the year but that could go up a little bit. For the non-oil components, we have Company Income Tax which has brought in N778 billion from between January and June and Value Added Tax N376 billion. Other dedicated taxes are the TETFUND, the technology levy and the consolidated account for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which is mainly personal income taxation.
“The N376 billion VAT does not include import valves for the current month because the customs will still give us the figure for the month but it is usually between N12 and N15 billion every month. So by the time we add it to this, it will be giving us about N390 billion,” Ogungbesan said.
He, however, said that revenue collection between 2012 and 2015 showed that 2015 is below the benchmark because, according to him, “Oil is not doing well due to the structure of the economy of Nigeria.There are institutional rigidities that made this to be so. 79 per cent of companies wait till December 31 to file their report.”
But the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, in his remarks, described the luxury or surcharge taxes as sensational and not driven by sincerity.
He said, “Our dependence on oil can no longer be a way for the country to move forward. Way forward is to look at the area of taxes which is more stable and reliable. It is not dependent on other issues outside the country.”
He added that taxes are currently just 6 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP) whereas in other countries it is up to 20 per cent.
Source : Leadership