By Salisu Na’inna Dambatta
MANY Nigerians hold the notion and presume wrongfully that every money invested in various development projects by the three tiers of government came from one loan or the other.
The fact is that most of the money deployed to finance national development in this country was generated internally through the efforts of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The rejuvenated FIRS is now turbocharged in its revenue drive to ensure that the country continues to finance the provision of transportation infrastructure, expansion in power generation, transmission and distribution and giving greater access to tertiary education to develop the necessary skilled manpower to support the economy and enhance our collective wellbeing.
One of the most visible evidence of the effectiveness and historic success in revenue generation by the FIRS is manifested in the fatness of the distributable money that became available to the three tiers of government in the country, especially within the last two years.
For it is on record that under the watch of FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami and his team, the revenue declared at the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting at least thrice hovered around N1 trillion or even surpassed that figure at various months in the year 2022 . It was a feat.
This story regarding that feat from a news outlet is simply nice: “The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N902.053 billion in November 2022 as Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils.” The sum was a shade to a trillion Naira.
But a nicer story regarding shared money at FAAC in August 2022 runs thus: “The Federation Account Allocation Committee, has shared a total sum of N954.085 billion Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils. Details of the revenue put gross statutory revenue at N1. 066 trillion for the month of July 2022.” The total was above a trillion Naira.
Yet another trillion Naira revenue shared at FAAC, courtesy of the FIRS, was reported in the media as quoted here: “The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), at its Meeting shared a total sum of N990.189 billion to the three tiers of government, as Federation Allocation for the month of December 2022.”
Read the clincher in the N990.189 billion distributed story: “the Gross Statutory Revenue of N1,136.183 billion was received for the month of November 2022.” Again it was above a trillion Naira within 30 days.
Commentators on national issues, especially those focusing on the provision of essential facilities that improve the wellbeing of Nigerians had repeatedly insisted that there is a strong linkage between those facilities and the trillions of Naira raked in by the FIRS.
The direct role of the FIRS in enabling the three tiers of government to have the requisite financial muscles to fund national development has placed the institution in the heart of national development.
The ability of the FIRS to generate revenue above its target in the era of Muhammad Nami became boldly obvious when the Service collected N6.405 trillion in 2021, which was over a hundred percent of its collection target for the year.
It was the first time that the agency crossed the Six-trillion Naira mark. It was achieved in the face of an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest “FIRS 2022 Performance Update” report released by the Service indicates that the previous record of just over N6 trillion was dwarfed by the N10.1 trillion revenue it garned for Nigeria in the year 2022.
The direct role of the FIRS in enabling the three tiers of government to have the requisite financial muscles to fund national development is best illustrated by the over N10 trillion the revenue generation machine netted in for the federation in 2022.
The revenue Service said the amount was more than 96 per cent of its envisaged collection for the year. It is reportedly the highest tax collected by the FIRS since its establishment in 1947.
The good news from the FIRS, which made it possible for FAAC to have fat distributable amount of money for national development has shown that with a sincerity of purpose in public service as demonstrated by Nami and his team, Nigeria can sustain its trajectory to becoming one of the top 15 best countries on earth within a generation. Money generated by the FIRS will finance the process.