The chief executive of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Tunde Fowler, has replied the query issued him by the presidency.
While Mr Fowler agreed that actual tax collection since the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is lower than the 2012-2014 period under former President Goodluck Jonathan, in general terms, he told the presidency FIRS under him has performed better regarding specific non-oil tax types, such as VAT and CIT.
He associated the general lower collection since 2015 to oil market crisis which has seen a fall in commodity price compared to the period under Mr Jonathan, and recession “which slowed down economic activities.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported the query to Mr Fowler signed by Abba Kyari, President Buhari’s chief of staff.
In the letter, Mr Kyari asked Mr Fowler to explain why government revenue under Mr Fowler has always been less than projected revenue and why the revenue has dropped compared to what obtained between 2012 and 2014, under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
On Monday, the presidency explained that the query to Mr Fowler does not mean that he is being investigated.
In the query stamp-dated August 8, the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, questioned Mr Fowler over “observed significant variances” between budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018.”
Further, Mr Kyari sought an explanation of the reasons for poor collections, stating that “we have observed that actual collections for the period between 2015 and 2017 were significantly worse than what was collected between 2012 and 2014.”
Checks by PREMIUM TIMES showed that since 2015, the FIRS under Mr Fowler has not been able to meet collection targets, unlike the preceding years.