Tax Now the Federation’s Highest Revenue Source, Says FG

YEPS
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Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein

The Federal Government has called on tax practitioners to intensify efforts to boost revenue from taxes, underscoring that tax revenue is currently the nation’s primary income source. This was revealed by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, at the 26th Annual Tax Conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) in Abuja, themed “Sustainable Tax Culture and Economic Roadmap for Nation Building.”

The government highlighted that due to the substantial revenue generated from taxes, members of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) eagerly anticipate the monthly figures from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to ensure funds are available for distribution to the three tiers of government.

Madein stated, “The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation is committed to fostering a sustainable tax culture that ensures a continuous and improved revenue flow. Currently, tax revenue is the highest source of income for the federation. At FAAC meetings, we keenly await the FIRS figures because their performance continually improves and provides relief to all levels of government.”

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The FIRS surpassed its 2023 revenue target by N816 billion, collecting a total of N12.37 trillion against the target of N11.56 trillion. This achievement was presented by Amina Ado, Coordinating Director of the Special Tax Operations Group at FIRS.

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At the CITN conference, the Accountant-General urged tax practitioners to enhance their efforts in tax collection to increase government revenue, which is crucial for infrastructure and other public services.

“Let us stay committed to building a better future. Together, we can harness the power of taxation to create a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world. Currently, non-oil revenue is a significant source for the federation, and we need more of this to meet citizens’ expectations for infrastructure and other developments,” Madein said.

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She also expressed optimism that the conference would strengthen collaboration between organizations, enhancing the capacity of professionals, experts, and taxpayers to better understand tax laws, rules, and regulations.

CITN President/Chairman of Council, Samuel Agbeluyi, in his remarks, noted that the removal of fuel and electricity subsidies had reduced the purchasing power of the masses. He cautioned that raising electricity tariffs after the removal of fuel subsidies would further strain the public and urged the government to consider the impact of such actions.

Agbeluyi also welcomed President Bola Tinubu’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to delay the recent cybersecurity levy. “We will continue to advise the government on policies, considering their effects on citizens,” Agbeluyi said.

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President Tinubu’s order came after the House of Representatives asked the CBN to withdraw its circular mandating a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions. The CBN had issued the circular on May 6, 2024, in line with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024, which requires the levy to be collected and remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

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Agbeluyi emphasized the role of government at all levels in fostering a sustainable tax culture in Nigeria. “Taxation demands the highest level of professionalism due to its critical role in economic sustainability. It is crucial to use tax revenue judiciously to build trust between the government and taxpayers, thereby promoting a taxpaying culture that contributes to nation-building.”

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