The Federal Government is set to integrate the activities of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agencies (NIMASA), the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), and other revenue-collecting agencies in Nigeria.
Zach Adedeji, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Revenue, disclosed this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.
Adedeji admitted that the country had a revenue problem but that through the integration of the revenue collecting agencies, the government will be able to increase the country’s total annual revenue, which is currently below N15 trillion.
Speaking further on the revenue challenge of the country and the preparedness of President Tinubu’s administration to tackle it, the special adviser on revenue assured Nigerians that the president is willing to tackle the challenge through fiscal discipline and harmonisation of revenue channels using technology to view all government revenue-collecting agencies in real time.
“The law is very clear as to how to collect revenue. In Section 162 of the Nigerian Constitution, it is clearly stated that there shall be an account called the Federation Account, and all government revenue must be put into that account,” Adedeji said.
“When we talk about harmonisation, we are just saying integration of all collecting agencies, so that on one platform, we can know what is happening in NIMASA, NPA, NCC, Customs, Federal Inland Revenue (Service)…We will make use of technology to know everything going on in real time.”
Adedeji insisted that the harmonisation or integration exercise of the Federal Government doesn’t mean that he is going to collapse revenue-generating bodies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and the Nigeria Customs Service.
Rather, the harmonisation or integration of the current administration means that the government is going to use technology to integrate all revenue-collecting agencies to monitor revenue in real-time and remove any form of “government within government”.
“We are not collapsing. NNPC will be NNPC because it is limited, Federal Inland Revenue (Service) will be but the collection of all revenue will be technologically driven by data…Why there seems to be government within government is because of the law because there is no real law that specify what they should do.”