By Mustapha Sumaila
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it will go after estimated 40, 000 millionaire tax defaulters in 2019.
Mr Wahab Gbadamosi, the Head Communications and Servicom Department of FIRS, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
Gbadamosi quoted the Executive Chairman of the service, Mr Tunde Fowler, as making this disclosure when he received the Acting Inspector General of Police, (I-G) Mohammed Adamu who paid him a courtesy visit.
Fowler said that FIRS identified 45, 000 millionaire tax evaders in 2018 and recovered N23 billion through substitution of their bank accounts.
He explained that N23 billion was realised from over 45, 000 tax defaulters that had over N100 million as turnover in their accounts.
FIRS boss said that the service would go after another estimated 40, 000 millionaire tax defaulters in 2019.
He called for collaboration with stakeholders like the Police to continue to go after wealthy tax defaulters in 2019.
Fowler requested the Nigeria Police to help the Service bring the tax evaders to pay their taxes.
He thanked the Nigerian Police Force for its support and collaboration over the years in assisting FIRS to achieve its target.
He sought for more support and collaboration to enable it recovers due taxes from more 40,000 rich tax defaulters in 2019.
“Let me put on record that the Nigeria Police Force has been extremely helpful to FIRS. Without the Police, I doubt if the Service would have been able to achieve what we have achieved.
“2018 was a successful year. The FIRS collected a total of N5.320 trillion of tax revenue. This is the highest revenue collection in the history of the service.
“This is significant, because this collection was when oil prices oscillated between $50 and $70 per barrel.
“Oil price was at an average of $100 to $120 per barrel between 2012 when FIRS collected N5.07 trillion.
“Oil component of the N5.320 trillion is N2.467 trillion, which represents 46.38 per cent, while non-oil element of the collection is N2.852 trillion, which is equal to 53.62 per cent,” he explained.
The acting I-G assured FIRS that the Police would continue to support the service because the job of revenue generation was critical to the survival of the nation.
Adamu said that the service rendered by FIRS was important for the survival of the country.
He emphasised the need for the service to be supported by all stakeholders so that it could achieve its goals.