Recover N5.19trn Unpaid Taxes from MDAs, others, Reps Urge FIRS

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, directed the Federal Inland Revenue Service to recover all taxes totalling over N5.19trn owed the Federal Government by ministries, departments and agencies, oil companies as well as individuals.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the floor of the House on Thursday, moved by the member representing Oredo Federal Constituency of Edo State, Esosa Iyawe.

Leading the debate on the motion titled “Alleged non-remittance and under-remittance of tax by ministries, departments and agencies of government, oil companies and other organisations”, the Labour Party chieftain recalled that in 2021, “The FIRS revealed that the sum of N17. 69bn was owed in taxes by some companies, whose addresses were untraced till date, but no action was taken to locate or recover the funds.”

He added, “Audit reports from 2015 to 2019 revealed government agencies owing hundreds of billions in FIRS taxes comprising underpayments and under recoveries and over 5,000 companies and MDAs of the Federal Government owing N5.2trn in withholding taxes.”

Esosa further argued that under-remittance and non-remittance of tax deprived the Federal Government of much-needed funds to drive its policies for national development, stressing that if the situation was not urgently addressed, “The effect could be crippling on the country’s already dwindling economy.”

This is just as he maintained that small-scale businesses in Nigeria were frustrated by multiple taxations by the FIRS while “States and Local Government Authorities, multinational companies and other corporate organisations are getting the kid-glove treatment.”

Following the adoption of the motion, the House urged FIRS to embark on a tax recovery drive while also mandating the Committees on Public Accounts and Finance to investigate the non-compliance on tax remittance by MDAs of government, oil companies and other organisations, “to ensure that all debts in taxes owed the Federal Government are duly recovered, and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.”