Despite hitting its highest record in 2018, the FIRS has failed to meet revenue targets since President Buhari came into office in 2015

Tunde Fowler, the FIRS Chairman says the agency is targeting N8 trillion for 2019.

Executive Chairman of Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has broken Nigeria's tax collection history with a total collection of N5.32 trillion at the end of 2018.

This is the highest revenue the agency will generate in history. A closer figure was recorded in 2012 at N5.07 trillion but with persistent target shortfalls since 2015.

Tunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, FIRS, announced the figure at a retreat: "Parliamentary Support for Effective Taxation of the Digital Economy", in Lagos on Monday, January 7, 2018.

Giving a breakdown of the collection, Fowler said the oil component generated N2.467 trillion (46.38%), while the non-oil component is N2.852 trillion (53.62%).

From audit alone, FIRS collected N212,792 billion from 2278 cases with a huge reduction in audit cycle,” he said.

The FIRS Chairman said the agency is targeting N8 trillion for 2019.

Tax revenue shortfalls since the inception of Buhari government

Since 2000, data available on the FIRS website shows that President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has witnessed tax revenue shortfalls since inception in 2015.

In 2015, the agency set N4.5 trillion and made about N3.7 trillion and has been experiencing a shortfall of N1 to N2 trillion every year.

Prior to 2015, the tax agency surpassed its revenue targets except in 2006 where it made a projection of N3.05 trillion and made N1.86 trillion for the year.

The Nigerian economy experienced its worst economic hit in 25 years in 2016 owing to shock in global crude oil price and persistence attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta which saw oil production dropping from 2.3 million barrels per day to 1 million barrel per day.

Since 2016, the economy has been experiencing sluggish growth while the government continues to clamp down on corrupt officials and the introduction of various tax policies to diversify interest away from oil revenues.

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