Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FIRS moves to broaden tax base with state structures

About 26 directors of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, have been transferred to various divisions in-line with its recent campaign to widen the nation’s tax base.

The massive restructuring which also saw the introduction of the state coordinator structure, a move the FIRS management said is geared towards the actualization of its March 31 target of registering 500,000 new corporate taxpayers.

Already, the FIRS has announced the successful registration of additional 359,158 corporate taxpayers in 107 days (October 13, 2015 to January 27, 2016).

Chairman of the service, Babatunde Fowler, explained the service will be working with states under the Joint Tax Board, JTB structure, to further widen the nation’s tax base by adding five million new individual taxpayers to the country-wide tax register by December 2016.

Under the new arrangement, 13 state coordinators will now supervise operations in their areas of jurisdictions. Meanwhile, two directors were moved to the headquarters in Abuja, while another three will coordinate affairs in the states.

Experienced deputy directors were transferred to FIRS’ training school and centers across the country as part of the efforts of the service to strengthen its knowledge transfer programme and expeditious development of the capacity of its workforce in the interim.

The state structure, Fowler said, is part of his vision of minimizing the span of control, ensure closer focus on corporate taxpayers in all states of the federation and encourage stronger collaboration with State Boards of Internal Revenue, SBIR, to increase overall tax yield accruable to the three tiers of government

With the recent posting, the director of FCT and North Central Region, Olufemi Faniyi, will now head the Compliance Support Group, while Innocent Ohagwa, director, South-South and South-East directorate is now acting state coordinator, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River States. Gbolaga Oshiga, director, Lagos Mainland (East and West Directorate) is now acting state coordinator, Ogun, Oyo and Osun States.

Other directors affected include Mohammed Magam, director, North-West and North-East Regions directorate who now becomes the acting state coordinator, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States while Olufunlola Adediran, director, oil and gas department, Lagos, was transferred to the office of the coordinating director, domestic tax group in Abuja.‎

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