Technology will Boost Future Revenue Drive, Says Fowler

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Babatunde Fowler

* Only stationery affected in fire incident, says FIRS Text Box:*Youths commend tax reforms

James Emejo in Abuja

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler yesterday described technology as the future of tax administration in the country.

He noted that due to the critical role ICT plays in tax administration as well as enhancing the work of FIRS, it recently launched the IT solution which had simplified tax payment.

This is coming as the agency has stated that nothing critical to its operations was affected by the fire incident, which occurred at its headquarters on Saturday.

Speaking when he received a delegation of the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) led by its President Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, which paid him a courtesy, he said the solutions will ensure Nigerians carry out registration, pay all their taxes without visiting any of its physical offices.

He added that the solution could also be accessed from any part of the world.

Fowler also said prompt paying of taxes. could help government address the huge infrastructural gaps in the country, adding that due to overdependence on oil, many Nigerians had failed to pay taxes correctly.

The FIRS boss said it had decided to take tax education to schools to inculcate its importance in future generations.

“The generation that is coming behind us who are still in primary and secondary schools are being taught through our comic books on taxation the benefit of paying tax. That it is not something they should be afraid of when they grow up.

Meanwhile, FRS has stated that nothing critical to its operations was affected by the fire incident, which occurred at its headquarters on Saturday.

FIRS made this known in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday.

Head of Communications and Servicom Department, Wahab Gbadamosi said in the statement that the incident affected the canteen located at Annex 1 of the headquarters where old and disused computers awaiting disposal are kept.

Aside from the disused computers, the fire affected stationery items such as envelopes and printing paper.

“The FIRS, hereby, assures the general public that nothing critical to FIRS operations was affected,” the Service said.

FIRS commended the Fire Service Department for its timely response as well as members of the public and the media for their interest in the health of FIRS operations.

Meanwhile, a Northern group, Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), has commended Fowler for the sterling performance of the service, which it described as “unprecedented record in the history of tax administration in Nigeria”.

The group gave the commendation yesterday when members of its National Executive Council paid a courtesy visit to FIRS headquarters in Abuja. The group listed the indices of the record performance as including the expansion of the country’s taxpayer base, inauguration of the new Taxpayer Identification Number Registration System and deployment of online solutions to ease tax payment.

AYF National President, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, promised that the group will continue to support initiatives being implemented by the Service.

“It is on record that from your appointment till date, and with the support of your hardworking Management team and staff, Mr. Fowler has, among other things, achieved the expansion of our national tax base from 10 million to 20 million with a potential increase to 45 million; increase States’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by over 46.11 percent from N800 billion in 2016 to N1.16 trillion in 2018”, Gunjugu said.