The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami says the mandate of the service is to collect taxes due to the federation and the Federal Government. Nami, in a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Johannes Wojuola, said that FIRS did not grant tax waivers to any taxpayer in the country. He was reacting to some media reports that some companies including Dangote, Sinotruck Limited, Lafarge, Honeywell, were granted tax waiver on pioneer status between 2019 and 2021 in the sum of N16 trillion by the FIRS and other agencies. According toNami, FIRS does not have the power or responsibility of facilitating or implementing tax waivers to investors in Nigeria.
“There are relevant agencies of government that are charged with such responsibility,” he said. Nami, however, said that the Service was not unmindful of the objectives of granting tax waivers to investors. “This includes helping to grow local companies, stimulate economic growth and earn investors’ confidence. I am confident that the companies which are now enjoying tax breaks will eventually exit shortly and begin to pay taxes to the Federal Government. This is as it is currently being done by the companies that have equally enjoyed such tax breaks in the past and are now paying taxes in hundreds of billions of naira. Such companies will continue to pay taxes to the government so long as they remain in business.” Nami further said that the companies enjoying the pioneer status would be exempted from paying only the direct taxes from their profits.
“But will continue to act as agents of collecting and remitting Indirect Taxes (VAT, WHT) in the ordinary course of their operations,’’ he said. He emphasised that FIRS remained focused on the task of achieving its mandate of assessing, collecting and accounting for taxes due to the federation and the Federal Government. “This task is challenging, more so at this time of global economic disruption occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine war and the pandemic. However, the management is steadfast in achieving the target set for it by the Federal Government. For instance, in 2021, the Service surpassed its target by collecting an unprecedented amount of N6.4 trillion in taxes. So far this year, the Service is poised to perform even better than its record for 2021,” he said. Nami urged stakeholders to join hands with the Service to improve the nation’s economy.