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FIRS says tax revenues keeping Nigeria economy afloat amid impact COVID-19

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Monday said that tax revenues have kept the Nigerian economy going despite the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, as
renewed focus on stamp duty boost revenues.

Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami in a statement signed by Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, said that the renewed focus on stamp duty via the recent launch of an inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duty from 2016 till date has started to yield dividends.

“Before now remittance from stamp used to be an average of about N17 billion and N18 billion per year, Currently, it is in the region of N80 billion. I can confirm to you too that a commercial bank which has not been remitting this stamp duty before now in the month of July alone remitted about N1.2 billion so we are not playing about it”.

“We know that oil revenue is not there. We know that we are in a serious economic crisis and the only way to ensure that Nigerians are happy with the government is to ensure that this money that are deducted from their hard-earned income but which is not remitted is remitted to government coffers.”

Nami explained that of the N696 billion FAAC disbursement to the three tiers of government in July, 30 percent was gotten from revenue generating-agencies like NNPC and Customs while the remaining 70 percent which is almost N500 billion, came from tax revenues, including stamp duty.

“Without this money, there will be chaos everywhere. You are looking at issues relating to COVID-19 and the impact it is having on businesses today. People are actually losing jobs but it would be worse if taxes are not paid.”

Nami, speaking further said that there would never be a convenient time for citizens to pay their taxes, adding that bankable Nigerians have been paying stamp duty on their cheque books since the introduction of the stamp duty in 1939.

He said, “Nobody wants to pay tax but payment of tax is necessary. There is never a time that is appropriate for somebody to pay taxes. You can see it all over the world”.

“This belief that with oil money we are rich is false. What you see the federal, states and local governments sharing at the federation account meetings monthly comes from the taxes paid by Nigerians or body corporate”.

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