FIRS shuts down two tax-defaulting companies in Ibadan

The enforcement team of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Thursday, locked up the premises of AOP Logistics Limited, at Breweries new site area, Ibadan.

The company has a tax debt profile of N863,188,498.00, the FIRS said.

The enforcement team leader said the premises of the company will not be re-opened until it pays up it tax debt accumulated between 2007 and 2011.

A senior staff at the haulage, who refused to disclose his name, claimed that the firm had recently been making some tax payments to the FIRS. He, however, failed to provide proof of such payments.

The FIRS team was also at Markfina International Limited at Kilometre 9, Kulodi, New Ife Road, Ibadan. The staff of the company, which owes N21,183,020.95, were ordered out of the premises.

Ayodele Oluwalekan, a management staff of the company, told the FIRS team that the company has not been able to pay what is owes because it stopped operations for a while, an explanation that did not impress the FIRS team leader, which ordered the premises sealed.


Source: Premium Times

FIRS: Tax Amnesty Programme has yielded N27 Billion so far.

Tunde Fowler, executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says the agency realised N27.086 billion from the waiver of tax penalty and interest programme.

The programme was introduced to allow defaulters regularise their relationship with the agency.

Fowler disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja during the oversight visit by the  house of representatives committee on finance, according to a statement issued by Wahab Gbadamosi, the head of communications and servicom department at FIRS.

The N27.086 billion came from the tax waiver programme came from the payment of a minimum of 25 per cent of the principal of outstanding tax liabilities between 2013 and 2015 and continued payment of agreed instalments.

More revenue is expected from instalmental payments of the principal, Fowler added.

As many as  2,735 taxpayers applied under the tax waiver programme.

“The aggregate tax revenue collection for the year 2016 amounted to N3.307 trillion which translates to 79 percent of the government target of N4.200 trillion,” he said.

Last year, FIRS gave a 45-day window, between October 5-November 24 for taxpayers owing tax liabilities inclusive of interest and penalty for 2013-2015) to come forward and pay a minimum of 25% of the actual  liabilities and spread the balance.

Penalty and interest were waived.

Fowler also told the committee members that FIRS implemented a nationwide tax registration drive in 2016 to bring additional taxpayers into the tax net.

“We were able to bring in additional 814, 000 corporate taxpayers, exceeding our target of 500, 000 previously unregistered taxpayers. This was achieved through nationwide taxpayer registration drive, taxpayer engagement and enlightenment. We established the Federal Engagement and Enlightenment Tax Teams (FEETT) ran campaigns on television and radio in five languages. We are collaborating with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs on several fronts. With State Internal Revenue Service  (SIRS), we are collaborating on engagement, education and tax audit. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with them,” he said.


Source: The Cable

FIRS seals hotel of Egwu, ex-Ebonyi governor, over N5m tax.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has sealed off Gracecourt Hotel & Suites, belonging to Sam Egwu, former governor of Ebonyi state.

The revenue-collecting agency shut the facility over a tax debt of about N5 million.

One of the sons of Egwu, who is currently the senator representing Ebonyi north senatorial district, was said to have attempted to prevent the enforcement team of FIRS from sealing the hotel.

According to a statement issued by the agency, Titus Lamorde, the state commissioner of police, had to intervene before the agency could carry out its duty.

FIRS said it had earlier served the management of the hotel located at 14, NNA Street, Abakaliki, the state capital, with warrant of destraint.

The FIRS team also shut the Sacramental Resources Ltd, a company at Water Works road, Abakaliki, for an outstanding 2016 tax debt of N454,000.


Source: The Cable

FIRS seals Diplomat Hotel over N351m tax debt.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Tuesday sealed the Diplomat Hotel, located at 1, Shonnyway Street, Shonibare Estate, Maryland, Lagos, over a N351 million tax debt.


Bukar Gana, head of the FIRS enforcement team, stated the hotel owes taxes between 2012 and 2016.


The hotel customer care manager, who didn’t give his name, said they were “concerned about the debt”.


Also in Lagos, the team closed the premises of Island Power Limited, a power generating company, situated 1 Cable Street, Lagos.


The company owes N132.5million accumulated between 2012 and 2014. The administrative department was sealed off, leaving only the power plant because of the essential services it provides to organisations.


The team team visited Consertive Estimate Limited, situated at 15, Fatai Irawo Street, Papa Ajao, Lagos, which has a tax debt of N15.8 million. However, the company was said to have relocated over four months ago.


The exercise equally took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where the FIRS team led by Anita Erinne, shut Universal Insurance, which owes N82.1million in income tax.

Nigeria taxpayers hit 13.4 million – FIRS

State tax authorities have added 3, 414, 496 million new taxpayers to the national tax register under six months, bringing the total number of individual taxpayers in the country to 13.4 million, the Federal Inland Revenue Service said Tuesday.

Kano State led the new taxpayer roll with about one million taxpayers (944, 376). Lagos followed with 320,000 new taxpayers. Plateau State is 3rd with 296,910, while Kaduna added 235,812 new tax paying men and women within the period.

Zamfara State is 5th on the list of new taxpayers’ table with 136,773.

Chairman Joint Tax Board, JTB, Tunde Fowler, who is also the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), disclosed this at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Monday, at the 136th meeting of the board.

Mr. Fowler noted that though the new 3.4 million roll of new taxpayers is cheering news, it is still a far cry of tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 30 per cent which is the average in most developed countries.

At the event, the FIRS Chairman; the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Hameed Ali; Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi; Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS) Mohammed Babandede, — who was represented by N. E Graham-, discussed how robust inter-agency cooperation could enhance tax compliance and optimize revenue collection.

The Chief Executive Officers of the four agency heads, along with chairmen of the State Boards of Internal Revenue, also came up with fresh ideas on how real-time data sharing, automation of processes and operations by all SBIRs, revenue stakeholders, inter-operability of their databases, could enhance revenue generation and assist Nigeria to bake a bigger revenue cake.

The target of the JTB is to increase the number of individual taxpayers to 20 million, by December 2016.

The JTB Chairman noted that about 10 states are already sharing Withholding Tax (WHT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) data with the FIRS under the VAT data automation project.

This, he explained, is made possible by deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT), equipment and installation of requisite software across the states.

Soon, the JTB Chairman promised, the Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN) cards would be upgraded to hold robust taxpayer data which all State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs), FIRS and authorised stakeholders could query for taxpayer data status.

He announced too, that the collaboration between FIRS and the SBIRs was yielding fruits as their teams now conduct joint audits, share information on unremitted taxes and taxpayer education in many states among others.

Minister stops FIRS from revenue collection for FCT

In line with the new act of the Federal Capital Territory, the Minister, Mohammed Bello, has stopped the Federal Inland? Revenue Service from further collecting revenue for the territory.

The amended FCT Act came into being in 2015 and one of its provisions make the FCT Internal Revenue Service the sole revenue collector for the territory.

The minister, it was gathered in Abuja, has written the FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, that the services of the Federal Government’s agency were no longer required in the collection of revenue for FCT.

Reliable sources? in the FCT Administration confirmed that the minister has consequently directed the FCT Inland Revenue Services to solely be responsible for revenue collection in the territory.

Both the FCT and the FIRS had agreed based on the directive from the Presidency that the FIRS assist to jointly with FCT IRS collect revenue in the territory on behalf of the FCT Administration pending when the FCT IRS possesses the capacity.

But an informed source in the FCT Administration told InsideBusiness that the stoppage of revenue collection by FIRS was not unconnected with the 4 per cent cost of collection, which accrue to the FIRS from the revenue collected in the FCT.

Unlike the FIRS, the FCT IRS does not enjoy cost of collection.

The FCT IRS collects gross revenue of between N3 billion and N4 billion monthly, according to sources at the ministry.

“The minister has communicated with the FIRS that the FCT will be solely responsible for revenue collection from October 2016?,” the source said.

It was further learnt that a dissatisfied FIRS Chairman had put a call to the FCT Permanent Secretary, Tope Ajakaiye, on why he wasn’t informed ahead of the decision.

Fowler was told by Ajakaiye that he was just hearing the decision from him.

An official of the FCT IRS, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also confirmed that the FIRS was no longer collecting revenue for FCTA.

The official disclosed that by the FCT law, FIRS wasn’t supposed to collect revenue for the FCT Administration.

“The FCT IRS has the capacity to collect revenue for the FCT Administration. And we have been netting between N3 billion and N4 billion monthly,” the source stated.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the FCT Minister on Media, Sani Abubakar, said he wasn’t aware but would find out the true position and communicate.

Abubakar had not responded as at press time?.

Sources at the FIRS said the Service has not stopped completely, adding that the FCT will be collecting personal income tax and payee in the territory.

He said: “FCT IRS just started about one month ago.

“FIRS will still collect its basic collection, which include VAT, CIT, education tax and the Petroleum Products Tax.

“We got the directives to it during the current regime.

“It’s a distraction to FIRS.”

The FIRS official, who preferred anonymity, stated that the directive that the FIRS should assist FCT came from the Presidency because the territory does not have the spread and requisite expertise to handle it.

The official said: “So the arrangement is that we will assist them and stop when they have the capacity.

“It’s not a permanent arrangement, but stop gap measures.

“I think FCT is now in a position to do it now.”

Suspected killers of ex-FIRS boss’ mum arrested

The Edo state police command has made an arrest of three suspects allegedly involved in the robbery attack and murder of late Mrs. Grace Omoigui, mother of former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru.


Findings revealed that late Omoigui was shot in the thigh during a robbery attack, after she had been trailed from GTBank on Sapele road where she had gone to withdraw some money sent to her by her daughter.


The deceased was said to have driven off from the bank when her car tyres were shot at by the robbers, but they were said to have followed her to a hotel on Liberty avenue where they reportedly robbed her of N2 million and shot her.


The Edo state Commisioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, however confirmed that the suspects were arrested 4 days after the attack. They were identified as Austin Orene, Isaiah Ngbeken, and Esogie Aigbede.


According to the commissioner, items recovered from the suspects include a one double barrelled cut-to-size gun, two single barrelled cut-to-size guns, a live cartridge, handsets, ID cards, a decoder, a DVD, receipts and a laptop.


Gwandu said though charges made earlier against the suspects was armed robbery, it would be reviewed to include murder following the death of Mrs. Grace Omoigui on the 19th of November.


“We have already arrested them (suspects). They are in prison. They were charged with armed robbery. But this time around, we will modify our case file and transmit to the DPP to inform them that she had died. So, there is an additional charge of murder,” said the Commissioner.

Senate rejects 2016 FIRS budget

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly voted against the report of its committee on Finance, on the budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for the 2016 fiscal year.

DAILY POST recalls that the Senate had at its sitting of Thursday, 21st July 2016 considered the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2016 Budget of the FIRS and referred same to the committee on Finance for further legislative action.

However, when the committee’s report was read on the floor by the Chairman, Senator John Enoh, the Senate President and other Senators discovered loopholes in the said report.

The committee through its report, had recommended that a total expenditure of N143, 722, 430, 526 (One Hundred and Forty-Three Billion, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Two Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty-Six naira) be approved for FIRS in 2016.

While reacting, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki queried the report. According to him, “the committee met in July, how comes it is recommending exactly what the agency projected at the beginning of the year 2016”.

Saraki was also baffled that the committee could recommend all the figures the FIRS proposed, without making any adjustment.

On his part, Senator Albert Bassey (Akwa Ibom North East) observed that the personnel overhead of the FIRS budget increased drastically to N25bn from 2015 to 2016; whereas, the agency is just undertaking a recruitment exercise for more personnel.

Senator Mohammed Hassan (Yobe South) in his reaction said, “the description of some of the items on the budget are fake”, stressing that the Senate needed full details of the items captured in the budget.

The deputy Majority Leader, Bala Ibn Na’allah and the Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda were of the opinion that the report be withdrawn as various issues needed to be worked upon.

They, however, bemoaned the way agencies would be presenting budgets for the fiscal year at the a time the year was already getting to an end.

“It is not helping the Senate in any way”, they said while flipping the John Enoh report into the trash, describing it as a “copy and paste budget”.

Saraki while ruling on the matter, said there was a need to always do a thorough job and ascertain the figures, especially when it comes to area of revenue generation.

He also observed that some capital projects always reoccur in agencies’ budgets every year.

Having voted against the report, the Senate President, therefore, asked the committee on Finance to go back and tidy up issues raised, and report back within one week.

700,000 Apply For 500 FIRS Jobs

The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Tunde Fowler, has said that the organisation received more than 700,000 applications from the recent job advert it placed.

Fowler made this known on Wednesday in Abuja when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition.

The FIRS boss’ appearance at the lower chamber followed a petition from some applicants, who claimed to have been excluded from the employment processes.

The Service had invited applications for various positions in series of adverts placed in some national dailies.

Fowler said that out of the 700,000 applicants more than 2,000 had first class degrees in various disciplines and were qualified to be engage by the Service.

He said that FIRS would recruit only 500 people, adding that the exercise was designed to increase manpower for tax revenue collection and expand the country’s revenue base.

He assured that the organisation would ensure fairness and due process in the recruitment process.

He said, “We have secured waiver and endorsement from the Federal Character Commission in order to ensure that the right thing is done.”

In his remarks, Chairman of the house committee, Mr.  Nkem Abonta, directed Fowler to submit to the committee the service’s nominal roll to assist it in arriving at a decision.

Credit: NAN

FIRS Shut Down Bolingo Hotels Over Failure To Pay Taxes.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service in it’s bid to bring defaulting tax payers to the book have shut down the popular Bolingo Hotel in Abuja over failure to pay outstanding tax of N24,422,572.84.

According to a statement from the tax body, Bolingo Hotels and Towers, located in Central Business District (Central Area) is said to have accumulated the debt in taxes from 2002 till 2016.

An enforcement team led by Bukar Umar Gana had carried out the continued crackdown on tax defaulting companies in Abuja Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

In the same vein, the FIRS enforcement team in Lagos sealed the offices of the Nigerian German Chemicals Limited, located at Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, over a tax debt in excess of N146.6 million.

FIRS shuts cement, engineering firms for tax evasion.

Enforcement officers from the Federal Inland Revenue Service from Abuja stormed Rivers State on Monday and sealed off Lafarge in Onne and IGPES in Port Harcourt for alleged tax evasion.

While the cement company was sealed for allegedly failing to pay over N10m in taxes; IGPES, an engineering firm, was shut for allegedly evading tax to the tune N1.2bn.

Speaking shortly after sealing off the two companies, the leader of the FIRS team, Mrs. Ruth Mandeun, warned their managements to pay the outstanding taxes to allow for the reopening of the firms.

Mandeun also cautioned the managements of the companies not to forcefully open the seals and padlocks used in locking up the premises.

She explained that the two firms defaulted through the non-remittance of their Value Added Tax, Company Income Tax, Withholding Tax, Education Tax and late return penalty.

The leader of the FIRS team stated that while IGPES began to default in the remittance of taxes in 2011, Lafarge had not paid taxes since 2012.

Mandeun said, “Breaking of our seals is a criminal offence and anybody involved in such an act will be prosecuted. It is either you pay every kobo you are owing or we seal your premises. We have the mandate to do that.

“The purpose of this exercise is to seal off the entire offices of offending companies. If you are willing to pay within the next one hour, then you will be allowed to operate.”

However, a senior official of IGPES, who gave her name as Esther James, said the company had been paying in instalments in its bid to offset the taxes owed.

James, who pleaded with the FIRS team to change the decision to seal off the company, added that IGPES paid N65m on Friday as part of the agreement to pay the outstanding taxes in bits.

Presidency Denies Secret Recruitments In CBN, FIRS, Others

The Presidency yesterday denied alleged secret recruitment of children and cronies of government functionaries at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other agencies and parastatals of government, describing such reports as “inaccurate”.
This is even as it gave reasons behind the exclusion of the private sector in the current Economic Management Team (EMT) headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, saying the President Muhammadu Buhari administration considers managing the economy its responsibility.
Recent media reports had alleged that cronies of officials of the present government including President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, are being secretly employed in government agencies described as lucrative.
But the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, told State House correspondents that there was no iota of truth in the reports. According to him, the government was rather sanitising the recruitment process and the public service systems to make them more transparent. “These reports are inaccurate. What we heard is that government is working to ensure that we develop, going forward, a more transparent process. We are committed in going forward to ensure that some of these procedures are refined, fine-tuned and made to become more transparent,” he said.
On the national economic management team, Akande said that it was government’s responsibility to take on the economy.
He said, ”we have to understand that the attitude of this Presidency is to consider the management of the economy as a government responsibility. It is not something that this government believes should be done by bringing in some of the private interests into the economic team to take a decision that they will be directly involved with. So our stand is that the management of the economy is a government responsibility,” he said.
Akande, however, added that the private sector was not totally excluded as other stakeholders such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), have also been engaged by the government.
“For instance, we have started meeting on constant basis with MAN and there have been meetings with arms of the economic sector of the country. There have been meetings with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and some other economic interests with companies making presentations.
“But generally, this thing is a government team and the team has been able to set out before the budget trying to figure out what the budget ought to focus on. After the budget was presented and eventually signed, there was also the publication of the strategic implementation plan, which was produced in a reader friendly format.
“All of these are the outcomes of what EMT does and it is also in the team that you have the heap of the whole physical and monetary policy and don’t forget that the monetary policy is always the duty and responsibility of the central bank, which is an economic arm of government,” he said.

Credit: Sun

FIRS Sets Strategies For Increased Tax Collection In 2016

The Executive Chairman,The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it had set specific strategies to increase tax collection to drive its proposed targets in 2016.


Mr Tunde Fowler, Executive Chairman of the Service, stated this in a document he signed which was made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.


He said that the overall target was to ensure that Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) became the largest contributors to tax collection in 2016.

Fowler said that in ensuring that VAT and CIT contributed more, the service would also ensure that collection from other taxes were significantly increased.

The chairman said that the strategies to achieve its targets included ensuring a minimum of 90 per cent compliance across all tax types and all taxpayer categories.

He said that the service would achieve 90 per cent compliance by increased focus on sector based audits to ensure that all audit backlogs were cleared.

Fowler said that the service would ensure maximum possible registration of taxpayers and would ensure the use of technology to block leakages and improve efficiency in collection.

He said that the service would strengthen tax administration by appointing new sector heads to drive tax compliance in the identified sectors, to improve performance management.

Fowler said that the service planned to improve in-house capacity building by training and re-training of staff sectors to improve working relationship with state boards of internal revenue on data sharing and joint audits.

He said that the service would increase use of taxpayer education, publicity and enlightenment to achieve improved compliance.

According to him, the service had begun extensive nationwide tax audit to enable the service to ensure strict compliance with the provision of tax laws.

Fowler added that the service had also planned to carry out extensive nationwide tax compliance in 2016.

He said that the service had started the pasting of non-compliance stickers on business premises of identified companies that had not filed and paid taxes for the last six months, including the newly registered companies.

The chairman said that more than 24,500 non-compliance stickers had been pasted to date and the exercise would continue through the year.

Fowler said that significant drop in oil prices in 2015 fiscal year had led to significantly lower collection from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), adding that the service would focus on non-oil taxes to meet the shortfall in the revenue collection.

NAN recalled that FIRS boss in February proposed a revenue target of N4.957 trillion for the service.




FIRS Proposes N4.96trn Revenue For 2016

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has proposed a revenue target of N4.957 trillion for 2016.


Its Executive Chairman, Mr Tunde Fowler, announced the projection at the opening ceremony of the FIRS 2016 Corporate Strategy Retreat tiled: “Optimising non-oil tax revenue collection through compliance and enforcement’’ in Abuja on Tuesday.



Fowler said that the target would be largely dependent on non-oil collection, adding that value added tax would account for N2 trillion, representing 40.35 per cent of the total target.



He added that corporate income tax was expected to account for N1.877 trillion, representing 37.87 per cent of the target.

The chairman said that the two taxes would provide almost 80 per cent of service collection in 2016.

He said that the theme for the retreat was driven by the service experience in 2015 when it was only able to collect N3.743 trillion as against the target of N4.572 trillion.



“We have proposed a revenue target of N4.957 trillion for 2016. It is realisable taking all factors into consideration. We have been able to add more than 354,000 new corporate tax payers in less than 100 days.

When we say we added them, it means they have never paid tax before; they never paid VAT, never paid corporate income tax and with the existing 500,000 will make 854,000 accounts.

We believe that we will be able to make it up to a million before March 31. If everyone pays what is due, I believe that it will significantly increase our revenue,’’ Fowler said.



He said that the service had written to all state governors to partner with it to ensure that VAT was paid monthly and timely.



He said that the states were already responding even though the letter was sent out less than 10 days ago.



“I am happy to say that the Ogun State Government, through the governor, was the first state to respond to our letter.


We have to remember that what we collect is shared among the Federal Government, states and local governments so it is only fair that all states pay what is due to the government to be shared thereafter.


Fowler said that the service had introduced a new tax identification number and called on the federal engagement and enlightenment tax teams to create more awareness among the people.


He said the service was reaching out the people through the media, saying that it was using the major languages to reach them.



He warned agencies deducting tax from their employees and not remitting it to desist from the act or face the music.



“Very soon, we are going to introduce what we call VAT watch, every organisation will clearly displace a certificate showing that they registered for VAT and they are committed to collect VAT and remit VAT.



“We will be running spot checks on people who have paid VAT and we will cross-check our system to find out if that VAT has been remitted and if not the laws will handle such situations,’’ he said.



The retreat is an annual event at the beginning of each year to enable the management of FIRS to identify and map out strategies to achieve its corporate goals and revenue targets.




FIRS Donates Food Items To 1,550 IDPs In FCT camps

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Thursday donated food items to 1,550 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Gwoza and Bama camps at Dururmi, FCT, to improve their standard of living.


The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said that thedonation by the FIRS signified government’s efforts and support to the IDPs.


The Minister was represented by the Director, Technical Services Department, Finance, Mrs Larai Shuabu.


Adeosun said that the essence of the donation was to enhance the living condition of the people.


She called on other government entities to follow suit, to ensure good health care services.


“There are certain things that one entity cannot do alone; so today we see one of the entities, an agency of government, FIRS, contributing its quota in terms of providing support to IDPs.


“We are here to support and this support signifies government efforts and support to this people and to show them that we feel their plight and we are doing all our best to make them comfortable.


The Vice Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Finance, Mr August Chukukere, said that Nigerians felt the pains of the IDPs and expressed the hope that the situation would soon normalise.


“I believe that God will help to make sure that things like this doesn’t happen anymore so that our children will have time to go to school and learn for their future.


“I urge you to take heart; we know that in a short while the suffering will be over,’’ Chukukere said.



The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Sen. John Enoh, said with the current administration’s efforts, Boko Haram would be come to past.


“I believe everybody soon will return to their homes.”


The Camp Coordinator, Mr Idris Halilu, said the state of the IDPs was a national challenge.


He, therefore, called on corporate bodies, NGOs and government agencies to support them.


Halilu said that this was the first time since the creation of Gwoza and Bama IDP camps that a minister and senator visited.


Halilu listed the challenges faced by the IDPs, especially in the area of housing, lack of facilities for ante-natal, delivery and emergencies.


Halilu said there were 1,550 IDPs in the camp from the North-West, adding that some of them had been in the camp for four to six years.


“We are calling on other entities to support us in skill acquisition so that people here can have a form of training,’’ Halilu said.


The Chairman, FIRS, Mr Tunder Fowler, said that Nigerians felt their pains and would do everything to make them comfortable.




44 Companies Sue FIRS Over N1.1bn Excess Stamp Duties

Forty four insurance companies have dragged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the Tax Appeal Tribunal to seek for refund of N1.1 billion excess stamp duties.

The companies alleged that they were made to pay the excess stamp duties on their respective statements of increase in their share capitals.

They urged the tribunal to direct FIRS to pay them the excess stamp duties and compounded interest at the rate of 20 per cent per annum from January 2003 until date of judgment.

The plaintiffs also urged the tribunal to order FIRS to pay compounded interest of 10 per cent from the date of judgment until all excess were refunded.

Meanwhile, the FIRS has said that its action is lawful and in accordance with Section 21, CAP 8 of the Stamp Duties Act.

The FIRS said that the allegations by the companies were incorrect, adding that the plaintiffs suit was time barred because it had exceeded the 21 days prescribed by law for them to appeal.

It, therefore, urged the tribunal to strike out the appeal for lack of merit.

When the matter came up for hearing, Counsel to the insurance companies, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), closed his case.

Also, Counsel to FIRS, Bolanle Oniyangi, applied for a date to enable her field the defence witnesses.

The Acting Chairman of the tribunal, Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN), adjourned the appeal till Nov. 30, for further hearing.



Adewale Arogbodo: ‘Why Tunde Fowler Is President Buhari’s Best Appointment So Far’

What They Don’t Want You To Know About Tunde Fowler, New FIRS Boss

Tunde Fowler Is In Town, Who Is Afraid Of Paying Taxes?

If Revenue Generation Is The Topic, Tunde Fowler Is The Teacher

A new, often comical if not dangerous, trend has emerged in Nigeria’s political sphere since May 29, spearheaded by groups and individuals, aptly named the wailing wailers by Femi Adesina. Their job description is the criticism of every action and inaction of President Buhari’s administration, and yesterday on their workboard of deliverables was finding fault with the appointment of Williams Babatunde Fowler as (acting) Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). It is a familiar script. Probably owing to the lack of creativity of this trend leaders, the same modus operandi has been employed in the aftermath of the appointment of Mrs Zakari at INEC Chairman, and many others.

The case, as they put it, against Tunde Fowler, an internationally acclaimed tax and revenue consultant, is that he is a stooge of former Governor of Lagos and National Leader of ruling party APC. Nigerians know President Buharito be a thorough man whose decision-making process, especially when it comes to appointments, is of the highest possible standard. So what informed the President’s choice of Fowler – the very things the wailing wailers want to distract you from? To put it simply, Tunde Fowler is the man who paved the way for the economic independence of Lagos State, a feat envied by some and admired by all other states in Nigeria.

With the global collapse of oil price, Nigeria’s economic survival is now hinged on the discovery and full utilization of alternative streams of revenue. Out of all the 36 states, only Lagos presents a perfect model that can, and should be copied by the new federal government under President Buhari. The Lagos model of economic independence and prosperity was established on the foundation of an efficient and accountable tax system, built and operated for 10 years by Tunde Fowler.

Tunde Fowler left the banking industry in 2004 after 20 years of meritorious service to join the Lagos State Government and was appointed the pioneer Permanent Secretary/ Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue in November 2005. At that time the monthly allocation due to Lagos State from the federation account was being withheld by the then president, and Lagos desperately needed to restructure its economy and focus on internally generated revenue to execute infrastructural and social security projects.

In January 2006, the LIRS was generating an average of N3.6 billion per month, but through Tunde Fowler’s astute reforms that figure increased 6 folds in 8 years to N20.5 billion per month in 2014. Indeed, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that the IGR of Lagos State in 2013 – N384.25 billion – exceeded the total sum generated by 19 states put together. This explains in part why like the biblical Goshen, Lagos has been spared the plague of unpaid salaries of civil salaries currently ravaging most states in Nigeria.

The NBS data further reveals that Lagos State managed to generate N722.62 billion in 3 Tunde Fowler years (2008 to 2011) compared to Kano State for example which generated only N23.11 billion in the same period. Lagos State currently stands as the only state in Nigeria whose IGR triples its Federal Allocation. Lagos would be left with only N2 billion out of the N6 billion it gets from the Federation Account monthly after salaries and allowances have been paid. Yet Lagos has spent over N500 billion on capital projects in the last 8 years, most of the funds coming from tax revenue brought in by Tunde Fowler and his men at the LIRS.

Before his appointment, Tunde Fowler left Lagos monthly IGR at N23 billion, with more than 4.5 million residents registered as regular tax payers. No other state in Nigeria can boast of a database of tax payers as comprehensive as what Tunde Fowler put together in his 10 years at LIRS. His job was made easier by the fact that he ran a most transparent and accountable tax system. Lagos residents can see what their taxes are used for and are encouraged to pay to aid further development. Lagos tax collection system is efficient and transparent due to various processes put in place and an efficient team comprising mainly of young graduates.

The rebuilding project of President Buhari is a capital intensive marathon that requires the exploration of all options for a more diversified economy – an end to the wanton corruption witnessed in the last administration and recovery of all stolen funds, and more importantly increase the federal revenue generation base through a better, more transparent and effective tax system. And who else is more qualified to lead that reform than the man who has done it for Nigeria’s largest economy – Tunde Fowler.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Buhari Appoints Again

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Dr William Babatunde Fowler as the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

A statement by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, stated that “Fowler is to serve as the acting executive chairman of the FIRS until his appointment is confirmed by the Senate.”

Fowler is replacing a former coordinating director at the agency, Samuel Odugbesan, who was appointed to the position by the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, in March this year.

He was the chief executive officer/executive chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2014.

The presidential spokesman also announced that President Buhari has appointed Mr Aliyu Yahaya Gusau as director-general, Budget Office of the Federation.

“Gusau’s appointment is with effect from August 18, 2015, and is for a term of four years, renewable for another four years unless he attains the retirement age of 60 years or completes 35 years of pensionable service,” Adesina stated.

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Buhari appoints PwC, KPMG to audit NNPC, CBN, FIRS, others

The Federal Government has appointed renowned accounting and auditing firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) to audit Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other agencies.


This came after the National Economic Council’s ad-hoc committee on the management of the Excess Crude Account proceeds and accruals into the Federation Account on Thursday said it had hired two firms, the KPMG and the PriceWaterHouseCooper, to audit the accounts of all Federal Government’s revenue-earning agencies.


Also to be audited are Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).




Others are Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Revenue and Mobilisation Allocation Federation Commission (RMAFC) Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) among others.






Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had accused the Goodluck Jonathan led-administration of undermining previous audit of the agencies.




Hence, there has been tension in many of the agencies marked for investigation of corrupt practices.




Those still in office as well as former staff, including retired or sacked workers, are monitoring developments and anxious of contents of the audit report, it was leant.




Edo State Governor, the chairman of the National Executive Council-backed committee set up to investigate NNPC financial accounts had disclosed that the audit of affected agencies would cover the period between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2015.


FIRS Generates N1.8tn Tax In Six Months

The acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Sunday Ogungbesan, yesterday disclosed that the service had generated a whopping N1.842 trillion from taxes into the federation account in the first half of the year.

Ogungbesan made this disclosure yesterday while briefing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on the performance of the agency in the last six months.He was accompanied to the meeting by members of the senior management team of the agency.

However, he disclosed that the figure was a far cry from what is accruable into the nation’s treasury, observing that the numerous social, political and economic challenges confronting the nation have been impeding the flow of revenues into the federation account.

Giving a breakdown of the income, Odugbesan said the agency realized N697 billion as Petroleum Profit Tax; N778 billion as the Company Income Tax and N376 billion as Value Added Tax (VAT).

According to him, the agency was still expecting between N12 billion and N15 billion as import VAT from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), adding that the annual target of FIRS in the oil and gas sector is N1.4 trillion with additional N123.74 billion as its monthly target.

Furthermore, the FIRS boss said whereas N150 billion was collected from the oil sector in January and February, the figure went down to N93 billion in March.

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