President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a letter to Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, asking him to respond to four years discrepancies in tax collected by the agency.
Fowler, whose tenure expired on Saturday, was asked to explain why there exist obvious differences between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018.
According to source, Fowler was asked to handover to the next most senior person in FIRS as he was given up till August 19 to respond to the query.
The letter to FIRS boos signed by Chief of Staff o the President, Abba Kyari, reads, “Your attached letter (FIRS/EC/CWP/0249/19/027 dated 26 July 2019) on the above subject matter, refers.
“We observed significant variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018.
“Accordingly, you are kindly invited to submit a comprehensive variance analysis explaining the reasons for the variances between budgeted and actual collections for each main tax item for each of the years 2015 to 2018.
“Furthermore, we observed that the actual collections for the period 2015 to 2017 were significantly worse than what was collected between 2012 and 2014.
“Accordingly, you are kindly to explain the reasons for the poor collections.
“You are invited to respond by 19 August 2019. “Please accept the assurances of my highest regards.”
According to WESTERN POST investigation, in 2015, FIRS set N4.7 trillion target but was only able to make N3.7 trillion in the actual collection.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the target collections were N4.2 trillion, N4.8 trillion and N6.7 trillion but the actual collections were N3.3 trillion, N4 trillion and N5.3 trillion, respectively.