The National Tax Week is an annual event by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, under the leadership of its Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami.
It pioneered on the 21st January, 2021, with the 1st Annual National Tax Dialogue aimed at proffering feasible solutions to the revenue problems of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The second National Tax Week officially kicked off with a National Tax Walk on March 28th 2022.
On Tuesday, the 29th Day of March 2022, the Second National Tax Dialogue was held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, State House, Abuja. It was themed “Tax Harmonisation for Enhanced Revenue Generation”.
Many prominent Nigerians graced the National Tax Dialogue, including President Muhammadu Buhari, who was the special guest of honour.
Others were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Honourable Minister of State Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clement Agba, the representative of the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr. Makinde Araoye, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, among other dignitaries.
In his speech, President Buhari thanked the Minister of Budget and National Planning, and also the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami. While commending the FIRS, President Buhari noted:
“The most important testament to the success of the National Tax Dialogue is the fact that the FIRS achieved 100% of collection target in 2021 and surpassed N6 trillion revenue threshold for the very first time. Many congratulations to the management of FIRS.”
President Buhari further reiterated his Administration’s relentless efforts to promote synergy in the tax administration among the different tiers of government. In making this a reality, he revealed the step his Government has taken so far in the following words:
“On our part, we have started by clarifying in the 2021 Finance Act that FIRS is the sole authority to administer tax for the Federal Government. This clarification became necessary in order to avoid taxpayers being burdened with multiple tax compliance obligations towards different agencies of the same government. Multiplicity of tax administration is as undesirable as multiplicity of taxes; it creates uncertainty and instability; and above all, it is inefficient.”
President Buhari further reiterated the government’s commitment to the rule of law, transparency, accountability and ease of doing business. He thereafter declared the event open.
Mr. Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman of the FIRS called for all hands to be on deck to support the tax system in a bid to make it more efficient.
“This discussion is imperative,” he said, “in view of the fact that despite our 38 tax authorities, several tax laws and numerous taxes or levies, majority of the taxpaying public still remain outside the tax net.”
He further urged politicians and all relevant stakeholders to treat tax revenue generation as an apolitical issue.
In her own part, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia (Dr.) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed emphasized the need to have a National Tax Dialogue.
“We have observed that countries having lower economy and fewer tax base but streamlined tax administration has fared much better than Nigeria in terms of tax revenue collection; and ratio of tax-to-GDP,“ she stressed.
“The goal for this year’s National Tax Dialogue is, therefore, to kick-start the discussion for the harmonisation of the fragmented tax systems into a coherent whole for improved tax revenue collection for all the governments in the Federation,” The Honourable Minister added.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service used the occasion to celebrate and reward MTN, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Airtel, CHEVRON and NOCACO, as Nigeria’s highest paying and most compliant taxpayers.
The Tax Week rounded up with an Award and Gala Night.
Some of the awards and awardees include the Extraordinary Delivery From Examination Of Account, awarded to Mrs. Obaitan Kelin-Felicia Olorunleke; Best Innovator Of The Year Award, awarded to Bilyaminu Aliyu Kofar-Bai; Chairman’s Award, awarded to Mr. Kehinde Kajesomo Victor; Tax Controller Of The Year Award, awarded to Mr. Oyebanji Olufemi Mathew; Best Director Award, awarded to Mal. Bashir Umar; Award For Extraordinary Response To December Push, awarded to Mr. Bello O. Rasheed; and the State Coordinator Of The Year Award, awarded to Mr. Mohammed Abare.