Acting chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, has resumed office at the headquarters of the revenue agency with an audacious aspiration – to surpass Africa’s average tax-to-GDP ratio of 16.5 per cent and achieve an impressive 18 per cent within three years.
Nigeria currently has 10.86 per cent tax-to-GDP, according to the immediate-past chairman of the FIRS, Mohammad Nami.
Nami’s administration raised the figure from six per cent to 10.86 per cent, a standard Adedeji has said he will surpass.
“By doing so, we aim to reduce our nation’s reliance on borrowing and ensure financial sustainability,” Adedeji said on Monday during a handover ceremony that marks the transfer of authority from his predecessor to him at the revenue house in Abuja.
He also promised to go after tax defaulters in his resolve to aggressively drive compliance.
“For those who deviate from their tax obligations, be rest assured, we will enforce our responsibilities judiciously,” he stated, adding that his administration will implement a robust enforcement model that effectively deal with tax evaders while maintaining fairness and transparency in the processes of the Service.
He committed to simplifying Nigeria’s tax system, making it accessible and comprehensible, with a focus on facilitating voluntary tax payments and fostering a sense of civic responsibility.
Dr Adedeji said quality data will be the cornerstone of the FIRS’ operations under his watch, enabling it to measure progress, make informed decisions, and maintain the highest standards of accountability.
“We recognise that data-driven strategies are essential to our success.
“I pledge to maintain an open-door policy, actively engaging with stakeholders to collaboratively construct a tax administration that we can all take pride in. Together, we will build an institution that serves as a beacon of excellence,” he stated.