FIRS Targets 57% Increase Revenue N19.4 Trillion in 2024

Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has set its sights on a substantial tax revenue boost in 2024, aiming to collect a staggering N19.4 trillion, a 57% increase from the 2023 figure. This ambitious target reflects the government’s urgent need to diversify its income streams and bolster public finances amid global economic uncertainty.

“The N19.4 trillion target is achievable,” declared Muhammad Nami, FIRS Chairman, at a recent stakeholder meeting. “We have developed a comprehensive tax reform strategy that focuses on expanding the tax base, improving collection efficiency, and tackling tax evasion.”

According to press report, FIRS plans to increase its oil revenues to N9.96 trillion with non-oil tax revenue at N9.45 trillion. “carry out internal reallocation from oil to non-oil, given that the budget oil revenue for 2024 was increased by 214% compared to 2023 actual, while non-oil was increased by only 3%,” FIRS stated.

Some other ways FIRS plans to achieve this includes; formalizing the informal sectors, enhancing digital tax collections using leveraged tech, and combating tax evasion and avoidances to clamp down on illicit financial flows.

While acknowledging the ambitious nature of the target, experts view the FIRS’ plan with cautious optimism. “The focus on the informal sector and digitalization are positive steps,” noted Dr. Lola Adebayo, a tax analyst at Lagos Business School. “However, effective implementation will be crucial. Strengthening institutional capacity and building taxpayer trust are essential for long-term success.”

The increased tax revenue, if achieved, would provide much-needed resources for critical areas like infrastructure development, healthcare, and education. It could also help reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil revenue, making the economy more resilient to external shocks.

However, concerns remain about the potential impact on taxpayers, particularly small businesses. Critics warn that overly aggressive tax collection efforts could stifle economic activity and discourage entrepreneurship. The FIRS has assured stakeholders that its approach will be “fair and equitable,” emphasizing compliance over punitive measures.

The success of the FIRS’ ambitious plan will hinge on its ability to navigate these challenges and strike a balance between boosting revenue and fostering economic growth. As Nigeria sets its sights on this significant tax target, the coming year will be a crucial test of its commitment to fiscal reform and sustainable development.

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