The Federal Inland Revenue Service has generated a total of N4.01 trillion in the first nine months (January – September) of 2019.
The FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, disclosed this during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
The amount is N77.89 billion higher than the N3.94 trillion collected between January and September 2018, according to FIRS statement.
He expressed optimism that the FIRS would do better than the N5.3 trillion it collected last year.
Fowler challenged senators to have the courage to pass legislation that would send tax evaders to jail.
He said if this was done, the over 40,000 taxpayers who had between N100m and N1 billion as turnover in their accounts but not paying taxes would hurriedly pay their taxes.
“In Nigeria, if you have the courage to pass laws that will send tax defaulters to jail, the 40,000 tax defaulters will pay,” he said.
Fowler said that it was not true that Nigeria had not given incentives to small businesses, adding, “I will first start with incentives. It was true that the past government, the government before this one did give a lot of incentives.
“Over the last few years, from 2015, we had waived all interests and penalties for small-scale businesses that did not remit taxes or were up to date with their filing,” he said.
In terms of the FIRS’ target not being met, he said the 2019 target was a 32 percent higher than the 2018 target.
In terms of the total collection, he said the FIRS was currently ahead of 2018 target by 13 percent, which translated to N71 billion.
“We believe that the non-oil sector will continue to improve. We are currently at 72 percent in the non-oil sector. The bulk of the revenue of the FIRS comes from the middle of the year, from July to December.”