The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said on Thursday in Abuja that it collected N1.85 trillion as tax from the various sectors of the economy between January and June this year.
The Acting Chairman of agency, Mr Samuel Ogungbesan, made this known before the leadership of the Senate to intimate it on the performance of the agency in the first half of 2015 fiscal year.
He disclosed that N697 billion was generated from Petroleum Profit Tax, N778 billion from Company Tax, while N376 billion was realised from Value Added Tax within the period under review.
However, he noted that there was a shortfall in the level of non-oil revenue.
According to him, the increase in tax evasion by individuals and corporate bodies was responsible for the low level of non-oil revenue.
He noted, for instance, that efforts by the FIRS to get surcharges from owners of private jets and mansions in the country over the years had not yielded the desired results.
“We looked at those who own private jets and thought that yes, you are enjoying facilities and assets Nigerians do not have privilege to enjoying; we will name something we call surcharge on you, and of course customs also was to do some others like furniture surcharge, mansion surcharge, various kind of surcharges.
“But regrettably, we have not been able to administer this. One, we have challenges; we raised assessment on about 130 private jet owners because we were made to understand that we have up to that number,’’ said Ogungbesan.
The FIRS boss further explained that the agency recorded low revenue collection this year as a result of the general election and delay in the passage of the 2015 budget.
Other factors, according to him, include poor financing of the real sector by banks and Boko Haram insurgency in the North East region.
He, however, expressed optimism that the new administration would work toward improving on the country’s revenue base.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, tasked the FIRS to find ways to improve on collection of non-oil revenue.
He frowned at the country’s dependence on revenue generated from crude oil sales.
Saraki pointed out that non-oil revenue was capable of making up for the revenue shortfall recorded by the country following the drop in international oil price.
He said: “I think Nigeria’s continued dependence on oil is not something we should encourage.’’ (NAN)
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