…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
The federal government has responded to media reports suggesting plans to merge or collapse revenue-generating agencies, stating that such claims are unfounded.
Zacchaeus Adedeji, the special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on revenue, emphasized that the government intends to pursue a process of harmonization or integration instead.
Adedeji clarified that the proposed harmonization or integration does not entail merging the agencies.
Rather, it aims to establish a single platform where the government can monitor the operations of all revenue-collecting agencies while allowing them to maintain their individual identities.
Technological Approach to Revenue Collection
During an interview on Channels TV, Adedeji explained that the government plans to implement a technologically driven system for collecting revenue.
While agencies like the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will continue as separate entities, the collection of all revenues will be facilitated by advanced data-driven technology.
Boosting Revenue without Extra Taxes
Adedeji highlighted that the government’s objective is to increase Nigeria’s annual revenue, which currently stands below N15 trillion, without burdening citizens with additional taxes.
He emphasized the need to address issues of indiscipline in national spending and utilize technological means to monitor revenue collection when agencies like the FIRS, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and Nigerian Customs are harmonized.
Legal Framework and Accountability
Adedeji referred to Section 162 of the Nigerian Constitution, which mandates the existence of the Federation Account and requires all government revenues to be deposited into it.
He emphasized the importance of adhering to the law in revenue collection.
Harmonization, in this context, refers to integrating all collecting agencies onto a single platform, enabling comprehensive oversight of agencies such as NIMASA, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Customs, and the FIRS.
By pursuing this harmonization and integration approach, the government aims to enhance revenue collection, streamline operations, and ensure accountability across various agencies involved in revenue generation.
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