FIRS boss allays fear over IMF, World Bank reports

CHAIRMAN, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr Babatunde Fowler, yesterday, allayed fears over the report by the International Monetary Fund, IMF and World Bank that Nigeria was at risk of economic crisis, saying the country will soon meet the target of the international bodies.

He also restated that the nation is experiencing upward growth through various initiatives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Recall that the IMF and World Bank had reported that any nation with a Gross Domestic Product, GDP, below 15 per cent was at risk of economic crises.

Fowler said this, yesterday in Osogbo, at the opening session of the 140th quarterly meeting of the Joint Tax Board attended by chairmen of Internal Revenue Service of all states across the country with the theme:  ‘Deepening Internally Generated Revenue, IGR: Beyond Personal Income Tax, PIT’.

The FIRS boss  said the reason Nigeria’s economy could not meet up the 15% GDP benchmark set by the world economic regulators was because it only relied on oil. Fowler said: “With all the measures introduced to diversify the economy since we came on board, our GDP that was 6% in 2016, has increased in 2017.

We are not there yet, but we are gradually improving.” Commending the Osun State government on its Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, Fowler said records had shown efforts by Rauf Aregbesola administration to stimulate her economy with determined efforts to create new spenders and through them its improved revenue generation drive.

He said: “What Aregbesola has done in increasing tax revenue in Osun is amazing; while the Federal Inland Revenue Service is advocating for at least 25% increment from states, it is worthy of note that Aregbesola has increased the tax revenue of Osun above 30% between 2016-2017.” (Vanguard)