States must look inwards for sustainable revenue -FIRS Boss

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, has said that the dwindling oil revenues have made it imperative for states to look inwards for sustainable revenue sources.

He equally advocated for the establishment of tax committees in legislative assemblies across the country.

Nami said this during the 7th IGR Peer Learning Event organized by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

He said, “Your excellences, Nigeria, over the years, has been dependent on revenue from crude oil. This source of revenue is no longer sustainable as the market for fossil fuel continues to deplete due to complications arising from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shift from fossil fuel to other cleaner sources of energy, rising cost of exploration, banditry and oil theft. In plain truth, the future of crude oil as a major revenue earner is very bleak.”

The FIRS boss expressed surprise that 22 years into Nigeria’s democratic dispensation, none of the legislative assemblies has a tax committee.

Nami further noted that “Taxation remains the most veritable tool to addressing the imbalance between the ‘haves’ and the have ‘nots’ of the society.”

In his goodwill message, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Nasir Sambo, noted that social health insurance and taxation have proven to be the two most popular ways of financing Universal Health Coverage and should be encouraged.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by the Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, said, the event was aimed at improving health outcomes for the majority of Nigerians “by incentivising tax compliance and addressing the problems of the low revenue base, poor health allocation and high out-of-pocket expenses.”

 

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