FIRS targets N4.9trillion in 2016

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Monday said it was targeting N4.9 trillion as revenue in 2016.

This came as the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, asked Muslims in the country to pay their taxes, saying taxation is not anti-Islam.

Chairman of FIRS, Mr Tunde Fowler, who disclosed this at the opening of the 134th Joint Tax Board meeting in Kano, assured that 80 percent of the targeted amount would be collected before the end of the year.

It is a known fact that once the oil price drops, the revenue from the sector will drop. So, our mandate now is to ensure increase in the non-oil revenue to ensure stability in the entire system,” Fowler said.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has asked Muslims in the country to pay their taxes, saying taxation is not anti-Islam.

He spoke Monday when the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board, JTB, Mr. Tunde Fowler, led 36 state Chairmen of the State Boards of Internal Revenue, SBIR his palace in Kano. According to the Emir, without taxes, provision of amenities like schools, roads, hospitals would not be possible, noting “you are welcome to Kano.

We are all familiar with the good work you did in Lagos. I hope you will bring that experience to the national level so that it will help address some of the problems we are facing at the national level.

People have always said that Nigerian economy depends on oil. Oil contributes only 15 per cent to Nigeria‘s GDP (Gross Domestic Product.) But because government is not looking at other sources so that those sectors will also contribute to growth in the county. “I ask the people of Kano, every Nigerian to pay their taxes. The social services that government provide: roads, hospitals, schools are provided by taxes. There are a lot people who believe that taxes are not Islamic. That is not correct.” During the time of Sayidina Umar –(one of the caliphs of Prophet Mohammed), people paid taxes. So taxes are not new in Islam. People should pay their taxes. People should be patient and pay their taxes. A lot of social amenities we enjoy will not be possible if we don’t pay taxes”, the Head of Communication and Servicom of FIRS, Mr. Wahab Gbadamosi, quoted Sanusi as saying.

Earlier, Chairman of JTB, who is also the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, said the team was at the Emir’s palace to receive royal blessing as it deliberated on moving the economy out of its dependence on oil. Said Fowler:

“We all know that the days of oil as our major source of income are long gone. We are at your palace to seek royal blessing and to be blessed by your words of blessing, wisdom and guidance. I bring greetings from the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu and the Olowoo Ekoo of Lagos. In recognition of the role of our traditional rulers played in the past in taxation in the country.”