AS the newly sworn in ministers settle down to business, analysts at FBN Capital have urged the Federal Government to focus on increasing revenue collection. In a note made available to the New Telegraph, entitled, “Need to push harder on revenue collection” the analysts noted that the new administration’s economic team is expected to meet this week with the three revenue collection agencies.
They, however, suggested that the meeting should focus on the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the largest of the collection agencies. According to the analysts, “The meeting could profitably focus on the FIRS, the largest agency which collected N2.26trilion of total gross federally collectible non-oil revenue of N3.40trilion last year.
It has met all its annual collection targets since 2000 other than 2006. This tells us that the targets are insufficiently tough. “In January-September 2015 it collected 92per cent of its N3.19trillion target. The non-oil share of its collections in Q1 was 51per cent, rising to 67per cent in Q3.
The challenge is to boost collections equitably and on a sustainable basis rather levy one-off charges from easy targets such as large companies.” It will be recalled that in an interview with the Financial Times of London, the new Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, revealed that her top priority is raising non-oil revenues.
She said that stricter enforcement of earnings collection from Federal agencies and more diligent bookkeeping were the types of “micro” issues her ministry would focus on to mitigate the effects of crude prices that remain below $50 a barrel.

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