This was disclosed by the head of the Presidential Committee on Tax Policy and Fiscal Reforms, Taiwo Oyedele during an interview with Channels Television.
The Presidential Committee on Tax Policy and Fiscal Reforms was set up by President Tinubu in July and was mandated to be responsible for various aspects of tax law reform, fiscal policy design and coordination, harmonisation of taxes, and revenue administration.
According to Oyedele, there is a huge tax gap in the region of ₦20 trillion and the Nigerian government has proposed that 63 government agencies including the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Ports Authority, and Nigerian Postal Service stop all forms of revenue collection and hand over such duties to the FIRS.
Speaking further, Oyedele noted that the reason the FG agreed to move the collection of tax and revenue to the FIRS was that revenue collections by the agencies will distract their functions as they will struggle to accomplish dual functions of facilitating the economy and at the same time, struggle to meet the revenue target.
“Ironically, our cost of collection is one of the highest. And the reason for that is that we’ve got all manners of agencies. The Federal Government alone, we have 63 MDAs that were given revenue targets last year, no; actually in the 2023 budget,”
“So, move those revenue-collection functions to the FIRS. It has two advantages: the cost of collection and efficiency will improve, these guys will focus on their work, and the economy will benefit as a result.” He added.
Stakeholders have, however, raised objections to the decision to take away revenue collection duties from government MDAs.
While speaking with The Punch, the Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Olusola Obadimu noted that the development would contradict the existing targets already set for agencies to accomplish.
“If you want to take revenue-collecting responsibility from Customs, why did you budget target for them for the year? I think it is just a suggestion. Some things cannot take place immediately. It’s not something that can take effect immediately.” Obadimu added.