The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has commended the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for boosting tax revenue in the country.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Solomon Adodo, national president of the NYCN, said the FIRS is a proactive revenue-generating agency that takes its mandate very seriously.
Adodo said that Muhammad Nami, FIRS chairman, has initiated and implemented several strategic reforms aimed at making tax administration more effective, particularly through expanding the national tax net.
“The determination of the Nami-led FIRS to go after some big and hitherto untouchable tax offenders has continued to gain traction,” Adodo said.
“For example, many businesses that either did not pay taxes or did not pay the correct amount have been made to pay under the very deliberate programme of the management.”
Adodo further advised Nigerians to support effective tax administration in Nigeria, which according to him, is being provided by the FIRS under the “dexterous leadership” of Nami.
“We must not forget in a hurry that recently FIRS came down heavily on some notable big tax offenders and made them pay their outstanding tax liabilities,” he said.
“And so, every attempt made by such tax defaulters to intimidate FIRS to make it shirk its patriotic duty was firmly and roundly rebuffed.
“We know that some people somewhere would wish to continue with their tax crimes. But we say a big NO to that. It is about time that, as Nigerians, we focused on development instead of petty politics.”
The Punch had reported that FIRS earmarked about N550m for refreshments and N200m for sporting activities. It also reported that the agency budgeted N262.5 million for security votes and N17.8 billion for “miscellaneous” expenses.
But the agency said it only earmarked N11.36 billion for administrative expenses — and not N17.8 billion as reported.
Reacting to the report, the youth council argued that “any discerning mind would see that the said budget estimate is a proposed expenditure that would eventually pass through the eagle eyes of the National Assembly for rigorous scrutiny.”
“Even though the official response of the FIRS to that publication has put to rest all misconceptions and addressed the obvious political mischief intended by the vexatious publication, we feel inclined to add our voices to the issue if only to finally nail the coffin.”
The FIRS and Multichoice Nigeria Limited — owner of DStv and GOtv — are currently embroiled in legal tussles.