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FIRS Boss Reveals Multiple Revenue Collection Agencies Responsible For leakages

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By Gloria Ikibah
The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zach Adedeji, has said that the collection of revenue by over 60 government agencies is the major cause of leakage of funds.
Adedeji who disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, chaired by Rep. for bugdet hearing, said this duty should solely be the responsibility of the Service to ensure greater accountability in the system.
He asserted that other revenue collection agencies of government should focus on their various core mandates; and further advocated for a single window method of tax collection to make the process less cumbersome and check the loss of government funds.
According to the FIRS boss, one of the challenges facing this was lack of verifiable data in the country.
He said a bill would be sent to the National Assembly to ensure all Nigerians have one single number of identification.
He said, “We are doing a lot of reforms including the single window because if you look at FIRS, what we collect mainly is company income tax. The problem we have is that we do not have verifiable data in the country. So one of the major things we are doing which hopefully in the next two weeks or one month maximum, a law would be sent to the House to change so that all Nigerians must have one single number of identification which by law today is NIN. The plan is to make sure everything we do as citizens is linked directly to this NIN. This would also help address issue of tax leakage.”
Adedeji said the Services was given a mandate to collect the sum of N10 trillion based on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that was passed in 2023 which was reviewed upward to N11 trillion during the year.
He noted that the Service was able to deliver N12.3 trillion as the revenue collected for the year 2023 which was 11 percent above the target set by government.
Adedeji said the performance was as a result of the internal reform that they embarked upon and the favourable economic policy decision by the President.
The FIRS Boss said the mandate of the Service for 2024 through the MTEF is to collect N19 trillion which is an additional N7 trillion compared to what was collected in 2023.
He said the bulk of it is coming from positive projection from oil and gas revenue.
He however said if this ambitious target of N19 trillion is to be met there is need to restructure the service to be more focused.
Adedeji said, “So instead of having types of taxes, what we do now is to categorise by the turn over which is customer focused. Now we have large tax if your turnover is above N5 billion. Between N1 and N5 billion is medium and anything less than N1 billion is a small tax payer.
“The reason for this is simple. We want to provide a one stop shop for tax payers. Where one can do all forms of taxes. This would reduce multiple audits and distraction to the businesses. It is our intention that 80 percent of core service job is done by the service.
“The tax to GDP is very low compared to our peers and that is why we have to come up with those reforms that Mr President has approved. One of it is the setting up of that tax reform committee. What we see is that in other climes, you have single revenue collecting agents. But here in Nigeria we have more than 62 agencies collecting one way or the other on behalf of Federal Government.
“And when you see people focussing on revenue instead of going to their area of strength, when everybody tries to collect, the leakage is all there. Two is the law that we have. Most of them are obsolete. For example the digital tax that we are talking about there is no law in Nigeria that empowers us to effectively tax all these digital businesses which we know is on the rise.
“Also our processes, Mr Presidnent approved that going forward we should pay our contractor’s directly instead of moving money to MDAs, most especially capital funding. What that would do is that we can deduct tax and also help us in cash management.
“We are also doing a lot of reforms including the single window. Because if you look at FIRS what we collect mainly is company income tax which is result of the difference between cost of sales and gross sales. But cost of sales if inflated means you would have less profits and less taxes.
“Today we don’t have anywhere to confirm the major cost of sales of all these companies because when they do the valuation sometimes, they do not have verifiable value to do that”, he noted.
Chairman, House Committee on Finance,, Rep. James Faleke, queried if the proposed single window revenue would mean whether Customs, NIMASA, NPA and all the major revenue collectors would be subject to the FIRS or the Service would be collecting revenue on their behalf.
In response, Adedeji said these agencies should rather concentrate on their individual primary mandates and leave the revenue collection to the FIRS.
He said, “This is the way. If you look at the basis of collection like you mentioned, I use NIMASA as example, the basis of collection for NIMASA is 3 percern of FOB. That has nothing to do with Marine. FOB, if you have the single window, you know the total number of vessels coming into the country and going out and the fee is just 3 percent, so what does NIMASA need to do about that.
“What we are saying is that these agencies were set up to do core duties. When you talk about Customs, they are border and trade facilitation. Revenue is not core mandate of Customs. Customs is about border and trade facilitation. So when you have single window, all what you say Customs collects because the real principle of single window is that everything coming to the country is in advance notified, so you know the number of containers coming, the volume, what is there and you know the amount and they pay you once.
“When you do that, the Customs collecting this and that or the NPA collecting also, this would go. When we talk about single that is why they say revenue service. If you go to UK or South Africa, you don’t see Customs Customs collecting revenue. They are merged.
“I am not saying it is bad but it is not the duty of FIRS to be approving payment for roads. I don’t have people who would monitor whether that road is done or not. So my duty is to access, collect and account for all revenue due to Federation. So any other  job may be good and laudable but that is not my core duty. So the same things happens when you see a lot of other agencies collecting revenue. And that is when you see leakages,” he added.
The Chairman commended the initiative to ensure payments are made directly to the contractors and not the MDAs.
He reiterated the commitment of the Committee to ensure that leakages are addressed and revenue increased to make life better for the ordinary Nigerian.
He said, “No one here will doubt your capability, it’s just the political will. Thank God that we have a president who has given you the authority and of course back you with that political will to reform our tax system. What you have to do is to look inward and ensure that you have directors and staffers who will not and negotiate you out.
“We have document to show that we have operators of our revenue collection who also negotiate and say you can pay this, we will do this. That is exactly what we are facing.
“With all the things you have enumerated, only you cannot do the job. You also have to delegate. So what this means is that every one of your staff who are on oath will ensure that they do the right thing.”
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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister
…say poor funding, insufficient gas supply responsible for power deficit
By Gloria Ikibah
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had said that the federal government is working towards the establishment of three gigawatts of solar energy sources across the 25 states in Northern and South Western parts of the country.
According to him, this is a novel approach that will go a long way to solve the power problems, even as he called on state governments to invest in power generation in their states.
The minister stated this at a two-day Power Sector Stakeholders Interactive Dialogue/Workshop organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Power with the theme “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-tier Electricity Market: A Legislative Intervention” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adelabu who said that hydro energy would be deployed for the coastal cities, also lamented that the country has witnessed incessant collapse of transmission which is caused by lack of adequate infrastructure.
He admitted that most of the infrastructure in the power dates back to the 1960s, with no single backup for the national grid, and called for alternative sources in the situation where there is a collapse of the grid.
The Minister also disclosed that the major factors responsible for the power deficit currently faced by the country is as a result of inadequate financing and insufficient gas supply.
Adelabu who lamented the current state of power supply across the country, however, assured Nigerians of the determination of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to address the challenges and make Nigeria a suitable place for business.
He said “No sector can function optimally without the power sector. Over the years, poor financing, and inadequate gas supply have been responsible for the energy deficit we have in the country. But a lot of work is going on to address these challenges.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the
Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Victor Nwokolo explained that the purpose of the interactive dialogue/workshop was to provide a dynamic platform for stakeholders to evaluate the progress so far in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) development.
He revealed that discussions will centre around the seamless transition to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market, as outlined in the Electricity Act of 2023.
According to him, “his transition, holds immense potential to enhance competition, efficiency, and reliability within the electricity market, ultimately benefitting consumers and driving economic growth”.
He said: “Through collaborative brainstorming and analysis, we aim to chart a clear roadmap for this transition, ensuring that it is smooth, inclusive, and conducive to sustainable development.
“Furthermore, this workshop will serve as a platform for stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to the persistent challenges plaguing the power sector. From infrastructure development and financing to regulatory frameworks and consumer engagement, we will examine a wide array of issues and propose actionable strategies for improvement.
“In addition to these objectives, we aspire for this workshop to foster enhanced collaboration and partnership among stakeholders. By bringing together legislators, representatives from government agencies, regulatory bodies, industry players, academia, and civil society, we aim to cultivate a culture of cooperation and collective action towards our shared goal of a vibrant and resilient power sector”.
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How Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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Yahaya Bello Withdrew $720,000 From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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