By Daniel Adaji
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, has stated that his recognition by the LEADERSHIP Awards as the Newspaper’s Public Service Person of the Year 2022 is a morale booster for the Service to do more.
Mr. Nami stated this while speaking to journalists after receiving the LEADERSHIP Public Service Person of the Year 2022 Award at the 14th Edition of the LEADERSHIP Annual Conference and Awards, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja yesterday.
“We feel honoured to receive this award, and in fact feel more indebted to Nigerians to do better in the years to come,” he noted.
“We are grateful to the media, and most especially the LEADERSHIP Newspaper for finding us worthy of this honour.
“Permit me to dedicate this Award to the FIRS family, and rename it as ‘the LEADERSHIP Public Institution of the Year Award 2022’—not Muhammad Nami’s. This Award is the result of a collective effort. It is because of team work that we have been able to achieve what we have done at the FIRS.”
We have carried out so many reforms that have brought us to this proud moment
The FIRS boss stated that the Award was a recognition for the reforms that the Service had carried out, and their consequent results.
“We have carried out so many reforms that have brought us to this proud moment: we have rebuilt the institutional structure of the Service; we have ensured we carry our taxpayers along; we have created an environment for ease of tax payment; we have deployed big data in our operations; we have taken our stakeholders—including the media, seriously; among many others.
“When we came on board, we met a Service that was collecting tax revenue within the region of 5 trillion for a period of nine years. In 2021 we broke that jinx, and crossed over the 6-trillion Naira mark. We did not rest on our oars, in 2022, by sheer determination and collective effort we raked in N10.1 trillion in tax revenue—the highest sum in our nation’s history.”
It is not easy to collect taxes
Speaking on the prospects for the year 2023, Mr. Muhammad Nami stated that the FIRS would do everything within its means to ensure that government does not lack the needed resources to cater for the needs of the Nigerian people.
“It is not easy to collect taxes. I believe that after the issue of tackling insecurity, the second most difficult task for our government is to collect taxes. But we will continue to appeal to Nigerians to pay their taxes, and help them understand that without taxes, salaries cannot be paid; without taxes, roads cannot be built; without taxes our lives and properties cannot be secured.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we would do everything within our means to ensure that the governments at the three tiers are funded to provide these services and needs to the Nigerian people.
“We have already commenced the journey to do better, well before the new year. We have appointed telecommunication companies and deposit money banks to act as agents of VAT collection for us. They would deduct VAT at source from their Contractors and, or Service providers, and remit same to us.
“Also, we are extending our collaboration further, beyond local local stakeholders and engaging with the international community to ensure that we have seamless flow of information required for tax administration.
“We would also work tirelessly to ensure that we improve our automation so that we are able to serve our taxpayers better than previous years.”