Senate Urges FIRS to Address Alleged N17 Trillion Loss in Tax Waivers

During the presentation of the 2024 budget to the Senate Committee on Finance, concerns were raised over the reported N17 trillion loss incurred by Nigeria due to tax waivers over the past five years. The Senate called upon the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to suspend these waivers, which are allegedly being abused, and consider implementing a rebating system instead.

Chairman of FIRS, Zacch Adedeji, presented a target of N19.4 trillion for total tax collection in 2024. However, Senator Sani Musa, the Committee Chairman, emphasized the need for FIRS to enhance its revenue generation efforts, suggesting that the agency could potentially achieve up to N30 trillion with improved measures in place.

Senator Musa highlighted the detrimental impact of tax waiver abuse, emphasizing the significant losses incurred by the country. He urged FIRS to suspend the current system and explore alternative strategies, such as rebates, to mitigate revenue losses.

In response, the FIRS Chairman informed the committee about ongoing efforts to streamline taxation processes and reduce the number of taxes collected from 62 to 8. This initiative, in collaboration with a committee set up by President Bola Tinubu, aims to simplify the tax system and minimize multiple taxation for Nigerians.

Regarding the controversy surrounding the Tax Credit Scheme for road construction by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the FIRS Chairman emphasized the need to fully implement the existing N2.5 trillion commitment before considering additional requests. He stressed the importance of fiscal responsibility and efficient allocation of resources to prioritize essential infrastructure projects.

Quest: Cris-Edesiri Odjomah

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