The Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS) has urged the sub-nationals to look inwards for sustainable revenue sources in the face of dwindling oil income.
FIRS Executive Chairman of Muhammad Nami, who made the call in Abuja during an event organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) also advocated the establishment of tax committees in legislative assemblies across the country.
“Your excellences, Nigeria, over the years, has been dependent on revenue from crude oil. This source of revenue is no longer sustainable as the market for fossil fuel continues to deplete due to complications arising from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He said the shift from fossil fuel to other cleaner sources of energy, rising cost of exploration, banditry and oil theft have all impacted the flow of revenue from the oil sector. “In plain truth, the future of crude oil as a major revenue earner is very bleak,” Namie stated.
The FIRS chief expressed surprise that 22 years into Nigeria’s democratic dispensation, none of the legislative assemblies has a tax committee, noting that “Taxation remains the most veritable tool to addressing the imbalance between the ‘haves’ and the have ‘nots’ of the society.”
In his goodwill message, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Nasir Sambo, noted that social health insurance and taxation have proven to be the two most popular ways of financing Universal Health Coverage and should be encouraged.