By Chika Otuchikere
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, has cautioned revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to stop spending revenues collected on behalf of the Federal Government for themselves.
Mr. Nami gave the admonition at the FIRS headquarters in Abuja during a courtesy call on him by the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello where he said such action is inimical to national development.
According to him, the global best practices is for all MDAs to remit all collected government revenues to the Federation Accounts from where they are disbursed back to the MDAs through budgetary allocations as provided for in the national, state and local government development plans.
The FIRS helmsman said: “Revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should stop spending money generated for the Federal Government at source.
“The practice whereby MDAs spend the revenue generated and only send what is left or their surplus to Federation Accounts hinders national development plan.
“The best practice is for the generated revenues to be remitted in total to the Federation Accounts first. This should include their statutory share of the collected revenue. The total amount due to them will still come back to them through budgetary provisions.
“This is what we do at the FIRS. We remit everything we collect directly to the Federation Accounts first and our statutory 4% share of non-oil tax comes back to us through budgetary allocations.
“State and local government agencies which generate revenues should also adopt this arrangement for proper accountability, fiscal discipline and rapid development.”
Governor Sani-Bello, in his remarks, expressed confidence in Mr. Nami to deliver the N8.5 trillion tax revenue target set for the FIRS by the Federal Government in this fiscal year.
The governor appealed to Mr. Nami to help Niger State to improve on its internally generated revenue (IGR) profile through a synergy between the state and the FIRS, a request which the FIRS chief acceded to by promising to help boost the capacity of officials in the Niger State revenue generating agencies in order to hit a commendable level of IGR.