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Nigeria’s new chief tax collector, Adedeji to prioritize fiscal reforms and innovative tax strategies

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By Temi Olowu

The new chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zacch Adedeji has underscored the pressing need for urgent measures to address Nigeria’s revenue crisis.

Adedeji, who succeeded Muhammad Nami, emphasized that approximately 96 percent of the federal government’s revenue was allocated to debt servicing last year, a situation he deemed unsustainable.

The removal of fuel subsidies by the government was, in part, prompted by insufficient revenue to sustain the nation’s operations.

Adedeji stated, “We are in a revenue crisis; government revenue is low amid a huge public debt. Last year, 96 percent of government revenue went into debt servicing. Where debt has grown bigger than the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and debt servicing faster than revenue, immediate actions have to be taken to remedy the situation.”

As part of his agenda to enhance revenue generation, Adedeji pledged to align with the reforms initiated by President Bola Tinubu, who recently established a Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee.

The committee’s mandate includes the development of effective fiscal policies and tax reforms to foster economic prosperity.

READ ALSO: Nigeria generates N8.5 trl revenue in nine months, crosses 10% tax-to-GDP ratio ~Nami

Adedeji affirmed FIRS’s commitment to participating in efforts to create a streamlined fiscal landscape for Nigeria. He expressed the agency’s dedication to addressing impediments affecting its operations and embracing innovative technologies and fresh ideas.

One of Adedeji’s key priorities is to eliminate revenue leakages, ensuring that all tax revenues flow into government coffers. He emphasized the importance of reinforcing internal processes and control mechanisms while improving the coordination of tasks and responsibilities.

Stimulating voluntary compliance among taxpayers is another focal point for Adedeji. He stressed the importance of engagement with stakeholders, emphasizing a collaborative approach to building a trusted and efficient tax administration.

Adedeji asserted, “Under me, we will not force things down the throats of our stakeholders. I will always be ready to engage with them, work with and through them, and jointly build a tax administration that we will all be proud of and one that enjoys the trust and confidence of all.”

The new chief tax collector outlined his vision for a modern, smart, and integrity-driven tax system that would inspire trust and admiration among stakeholders.

He urged FIRS management and staff to uphold uncompromising integrity, maintain taxpayer confidentiality, and exhibit a high level of professionalism and fairness in their public service endeavors.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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