The Federal Government says it will integrate the activities of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other revenue collection agencies.
Zacchaeus Adedeji, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on revenue, spoke on Monday during an interview on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme.
Adedeji said through the integration of revenue collection agencies, the government will be able to increase the country’s total annual revenue which is currently below N15 trillion, without imposing extra taxes.
“The current administration needs to increase the nation’s revenue not through taxation but by addressing indiscipline in national spending and technologically monitoring revenue collection when agencies like FIRS and Nigerian Customs are harmonised,” he said.
“The law is very clear as to how to collect revenue. In Section 162 of the Nigerian Constitution, it is clearly stated that there shall be an account called the Federation Account and all government revenue must be put into that account.
“When we talk about harmonisation, we are just saying integration of all collecting agencies, that on one platform, we can know what is happening in NIMASA, NPA, NCC, Customs, Federal Inland Revenue (Service)…We will make use of technology to know everything going on in realtime.”
Adedeji clarified that the harmonisation or integration exercise does not mean the Tinubu-led administration will merge revenue collection agencies.
Rather, he said the government will use technology to integrate all revenue collection agencies to monitor revenue in real-time and remove any form of “government within government”.
“We are not collapsing. NNPC will be NNPC because it is limited, Federal Inland Revenue (Service) will be but the collection of all revenue will be technologically driven by data…Why there seems to be government within government is because of the law because there is no real law that specify what they should do,” Adedeji said.
The special adviser sympathised with Nigerians over the hardship occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy.
He said the economic pain and inflation is for a short while, assuring that citizens will soon start to smile.
Recently, Tinubu approved the establishment of a presidential committee on fiscal policy and tax reforms. Taiwo Oyedele, fiscal policy partner and Africa tax leader at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was appointed as the chairman of the committee.