fowler firs news babatunde
Babatunde Fowler (Image courtesy: FIRS

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Babatunde Fowler has said the country loses $15 billion to tax evaders yearly.

Concise News reports that the country’s chief tax collector noted this recently during a meeting with tax experts across the world.

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According to him, Nigeria is set to start the first automatic Exchange of Information standard by 2020.

This is as he said regime was part of the nation’s commitment to improving transparency in tax administration, increased tax revenue collection, enhanced effectiveness, as well as efficiency in service delivery.

Furthermore, Fowler stated that there was a direct connection between tax compliance, domestic tax investigation, tax audit, information-gathering framework and the international infrastructure for the exchange of information among tax authorities.

Rising Debt No Issue

In another development, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed has said there are no worries about the country’s debt portfolio, Concise News had learned.

Ahmed noted this on Wednesday at the National Assembly hearing on the N10.33 trillion 2020 Budget.

Nigeria has a domestic and external debt portfolio of N25.7 trillion (about $83.88 billion) as of June 30, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

But the Minister has said the foreign and domestic debts owed by Nigeria will not throw the country into crisis.

She noted that Nigeria’s debts will not cripple the implementation of projects in the West African nation.

“We have heard repeatedly that Nigeria is inching towards a debt crisis and we have consistently said that Nigeria does not have a debt crisis,” she said.

“Our total borrowing rate is just under 50 per cent of our GDP, while the multilateral institutions project for a country to borrow from 50 to 55 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“What we have, is a revenue problem. Our revenue performance by half-year is 58 per cent.

“So, we have designed this Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative early this year, which has three thematic areas.”