FG to Streamline Incentives, Waivers for Non-Oil Tax Revenue

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo-Udoma, said that government was in the process of streamlining incentives and waivers for proper monitoring, transparency and broadening of non-oil tax revenue.

Udo-Udoma said this at the opening ceremony of the FIRS 2016 Corporate Strategy Retreat titled ``optimising non-oil tax revenue collection through compliance and enforcement ’’ on Tuesday in Abuja.

He was represented by the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Fatima Mede.

Udo-Udoma said that given the poor budgetary performance in 2015, government was committed to exploring ways to enhance non-oil revenues for financing the annual budget.

``Let me inform you that government is in the process of streamlining incentives and waivers for proper monitoring, transparency, efficient tax administration and broadening of the non-oil tax revenue.

``It is also planned to ensure stiffer penalty for tax evaders in the country. Efforts are equally on the way to explore the country’s potential in the solid mineral and agricultural sector.

``We also intend to discourage dumping and smuggling to ensure massive investment in physical infrastructure and enhance conductive business environment, including security of lives and property, ‘’ he said.

He said that the country was in the process of developing the 2017-2020 Medium Term Successor Plan (MTSP) that would guide the 2017 budget and 2017-2019 MTEF preparation process.

Udo-Udoma said that the plan was to restructure and diversify the productive base of the economy and revenue.

He added that the key pillars of the plan were economic, social development, infrastructure, government, environment, states and regional development.

The Minister of FCDA, Mr Mohammed Bello, said there was need for FIRS to focus on human resource training that would be user and consumer friendly in the use ICT.

Bello said it was time for FIRS to move to the next level in revenue generation, adding that the service in the past years had done well in revenue regeneration.

``You need to also carry the local and state governments along since you have the institutional capacity,’’Bello said.

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, said that the challenge of scarcity of revenue to the nation was not for FIRS alone but to the nation in general.

Idris said that there was need for awareness creation, sensitisation and publicity so that Nigerians could come to terms with the reality on ground in paying tax.``

``I believe the FIRS has the capacity, expertise and the structure to deliver and I believe that given the right encouragement which government is giving, FIRS will deliver and they will even surpass their revenue target,‘’ Idris said.