COVID-19: Nami Tasks Nigerians, Corporate Bodies On Tax Payment
Muhammad Nami

Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, has stressed the need for Nigerians and corporate bodies to continue to pay taxes as and when due, saying that revenues generated by the service have kept the nation’s economy going amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: Nami Tasks Nigerians, Corporate Bodies On Tax Payment

This is even as he described as false the belief that with oil money, Nigeria is rich.

Nami, who spoke Monday during a live appearance on the popular morning show, Kaakaki, on Africa Independent Television (AIT), said what the federal, states and local governments share at the federation account meetings monthly comes from the taxes paid by Nigerians or body corporate.

“At the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in July, the total amount shared among the three tiers of government was N696 billion. From this amount 30 per cent came from revenue generating-agencies like Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Customs. The remaining 70 per cent which is almost N500 billion, came from tax money that you paid, including stamp duty.

“Without this money, there will be chaos everywhere. You are looking at issues relating to COVID-19 and the impact it is having on businesses today. People are actually losing jobs but it would be worse if taxes are not paid.

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“Nobody wants to pay tax but payment of tax is necessary. There is never a time that is appropriate for somebody to pay taxes. You can see it all over the world,” he said.

According to Nami, there would never be a convenient time for citizens to pay their taxes, stating that bankable Nigerians have been paying stamp duty on their cheque books since the introduction of the stamp duty in 1939.

He disclosed that the renewed focus on stamp duty via the recent launch of an inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duty from 2016 till date has started to yield dividends.

“Before now remittance from stamp used to be an average of about ₦17 billion and ₦18 billion per year, Currently, it is in the region of ₦80 billion. A commercial bank which has not been remitting this stamp duty before now in the month of July alone remitted about ₦1.2 billion so we are not playing about it.

“We know that oil revenue is not there. We know that we are in a serious economic crisis and the only way to ensure that Nigerians are happy with the government is to ensure that this money deducted from their hard-earned income but which is not remitted is remitted to government coffers,” he said.