• Monday, June 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

FIRS seeks revocation of pioneer certificates from undeserving firms

FIRS exceeds target as revenue hits N5.5trn in 6 months

Muhammad Nami, chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has decried a systemic abuse of the pioneer incentive scheme instituted by the federal government, which has resulted in tax revenue leakages for the three tiers of government.

According to Nami, the pioneer status otherwise granted outside the law would not enjoy tax relief regardless of the certificate issued to them, adding that owners of such certificates were requested to regularise their tax positions or risk sanctions in accordance with the law.

In a statement by the FIRS Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Abdullahi Ahmad, Nami said the FIRS is currently auditing its findings with a view to pressing for the cancellation of pioneer certificates issued to undeserving companies in violation of the law.

Also, the Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group, FIRS, Femi Oluwaniyi, lamented the indiscriminate tax waivers and incentives granted to undeserving companies, saying that this had impacted negatively on revenue generation, noting that the service had discovered that pioneer status certificates had been issued to companies that were not pioneers on their fields in the real sense, hence undeserving of such status.

Nami, however, stated that tax revenue accounted for nearly 70 per cent of what was shared at the last FAAC meeting and lauded the collaboration between the service and the state commissioners of finance, adding that this was key to bringing about increase in tax revenue.

He said without the collaboration, it would be difficult for the government to meet its obligations to the citizenry in such areas as infrastructure development and salary payment, which could lead to social dislocation.

He also stressed the need to diversify the economy in order to create more sources of taxable income and increase tax revenue for the country.