The total revenue of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which is generated through taxation in the first half of the year 2012, has increased to about N2.43 trillion. According the Director of Communications and Liaison Department, Mr. Emmanuel Obeta, the revenue generated was N499.2 billion more than the total collection of N1.94 trillion for the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil revenue amounted to about N838.58 billion, while receipts from oil taxes accounted for N1.60 trillion.
Obeta noted that the increase “demonstrates the Service’s resolve, not only to achieve the N5.085 trillion target set for the year, but also to increase the non-oil taxes and lessen Nigeria’s dependence on oil as its main revenue earner.”
The Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Kabir Mashi, who resumed office in April, had charged the management and staff of the Service to improve their effort to ensure that the progressive tradition of tax revenue collection by the agency over the years does not drop.
However, the Federal Government has disclosed that Nigeria was losing a total of N2 trillion annually in capital flight to foreign countries, which was due to lack of indigenous participation.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, noted that the inability of the indigenous ship owners to fully participate in lifting cargoes from Nigeria to other countries was the cause of the loss.
According to her, the cost of inadequate maritime safety and security to Nigerian society and the economy had been significant, mentioning that incidences of piracy, oil theft had increased over the years.
Okonjo-Iweala, while speaking on the issue of increasing local participation in the sector, said that Nigerian-owned vessels made up less than one per cent of the global fleets and none was currently plying international routes.
She said that the sector was significance, as it could facilitate trade and commerce and enable the country to export its goods, as well as earn foreign exchange.
Coordinating Minister of the Economy expressed hope that the retreat would proffer solutions to end the illegal practices and create concrete initiatives that could be implemented over the next six to 18 months to allow Nigerians harness the opportunities in the sector.