James Emejo in Abuja
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has stated that it has so far recovered the sum of N57.7 billion from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in its ongoing monitoring and verification exercise on tax collections by the financial institutions.
The banks had been contracted by both the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to collect revenues on their behalf.
This is as the commission further has insisted that its current verification exercise on tax collections by banks was within its mandate as contained in Section 6(1) of the RMAFC Act, 2004.
This section, according to the agency, provides that the commission shall have powers to among others, monitor the accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account.
The commission had come under criticism from a section of the public over the legality of the exercise.
Nevertheless, the commission, in a statement issued by its Head, Public Relations, Ibrahim Mohammed, further explained that the sum of N48.7 billion had already been recovered and remitted into the Federation Account, while the balance of N9.07 billion, which related to withholding tax on dividend had been duly released to the benefitting states Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIR).
In its previous exercise covering January 2008 to June 2012, RMAFC had announced the recovery of the sum of N4.2 billion from the banks, and had promised more recoveries.
Following the subsequent approval by the National Economic Council (NEC), which launched the second phase of the exercise covering the period July 2012 to December 2015, the sum of N57.7 billion was reportedly recovered from the exercise.
According to the statement, “It is worth clarifying that RMAFC does not deal with individual tax payers directly but monitors collections by collaborating with sister agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria Customs, and FIRS to ascertain how much was actually collected and remitted into the Federation Account so as to minimise revenue leakages.
“It was not a tax authority but a revenue watchdog that monitors revenue collections by revenue generating entities like the FIRS, Customs, DPR, NNPC and others that remit directly into the Federation Account. The revenue streams that accrue into the federation account under the watch of RMAFC include tax (Withholding Tax and Vat), Royalties, Signature Bonuses, custom duties, tariff.”
“In order to ensure transparency and accountability in revenue generation and remittance with a view to reducing revenue leakages, the commission seeks further collaboration and cooperation of revenue generating and regulatory agencies, anti-corruption agencies as well as the civil society and the media,” the agency explained.