Spending IGR at source stagnates national growth, says FIRS
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to stop spending revenues collected on behalf of the Federal Government on themselves, stressing that doing so is inimical to national development.
According to the agency, 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 Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, gave the advice at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja when Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State paid him a courtesy visit.
“Revenue generating 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 the 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 per cent 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, who was accompanied by a large entourage of Niger State officials, elected members representing the state at the National Assembly and other eminent personalities from Niger, including the Emir of Agaie, Alhaji Yusuf Nuhu, expressed confidence in Nami to deliver the N8.5 trillion tax revenue target set for the FIRS by the Federal Government this year.
The governor urged FIRS to help Niger State to improve on its internally generated revenue (IGR) profile through a synergy, a request to which Nami acceded by promising to help boost the capacity of officials in the state revenue generating agencies in order to hit a commendable level of IGR.