New Telegraph

FIRS nets N6.4tn from tax collection in 2021

*FG slams N10 per litre duty on beverages

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) closed the 2021 fiscal year with tax revenue collection of N6.4 trillion. This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, who noted that the non-oil sector revenue accounted for 70 per cent of the amount realised.

The Federal Government hinted on the implementation of N10 per litre excise duty on all non-alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened beverages as well as the integration of 63 government-owned enterprises (GOEs) for the funding of the 2022 budget.

Some of the listed GOEs being depended on to fund part of the 2022 budget include the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), NIMASA, FAAN and NDIC while the Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are exempted.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, gave the hints Wednesday in Abuja at the public presentation of the 2022 Federal Government’s budget proposal – breakdown and highlights.

The minister acknowledged significant improvement recorded by the independent revenue agencies, which, according to her, peaked at N1.1 trillion as of November 2021 against N200 billion recorded in 2016, noting that the Federal Government priority shift to the non-oil revenue sector had paid off.

President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2021, signed the N17.1 trillion 2022 budget despite what he called worrisome changes (insertion of about 6,000 new projects) effected in the budget by the National Assembly.

Giving insight into the N10 new taxes on non-alcoholic drinks, Ahmed said the new tax was contained in the Finance Act recently signed into law by the President on December 31, 2021.

She said the excise duty on soft drinks would discourage excessive consumption of sugar beverages, which contributes to diabetes, obesity, among others.

“There is now an excise duty of N10 per litre imposed on all non-alcoholic and sweetened beverages. This is to discourage excessive consumption of sugar in beverages, which contributes to a number of health conditions, including diabetes and obesity,” she said.

On fuel subsidy policy, the minister clarified that the 2022 budget made provisions for subsidy between January to June. However, she said effective July, 2022, there would not be provision for fuel subsidy.

“Our assignment is that by June we would have been through with all the stakeholders – the international oil companies and members of the organised labour. The point is in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), we made provision for all the petroleum products to be deregulated. Kerosene and diesel have been deregulated, leaving PMS. We are planning to comply with the law because PIA is a law.

“We are putting in place a programme that will reduce the impact of fuel subsidy removal in the form of paying N5, 000 to 20 to 40 million people. The proposal is being worked on by a committee. There is another being worked on too,” she said.

Contributing virtually to the budget breakdown session, Nami said that the tax authorities generated N6.4 trillion in 2021, adding that the non-oil sector revenue accounted for 70 per cent of the revenue realised.

“In 2021, FIRS realised N6.4 trillion as tax collection for the first time with the assistance of information technology deployment,” he said.

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