Jonathan Nicole Kicks Against Making FIRS Sole Revenue Collector
A shipper, Rev. Jonathan Nicole, has kicked against the sole collection of revenue by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Nicole the former President, Shippers Association of Lagos State, disclosed this in an interview with the News Men on Sunday in Lagos.
He noted that Nigeria was too big for only the FIRS to have the sole right for revenue collection.
Nicole was reacting to the Presidential Committee on Tax Policy and Fiscal Reforms submission that the FIRS should collect revenue on behalf of all the Federal Government Ministries, departments and Agencies.
The committee advised that the revenue generated or collected by these agencies should be collected by the FIRS.
According to Nicole, government should bear in mind the unpalatable experiences of tax consultants in Lagos over-reaching Lagos citizens.
“It will look like curing one disease and create a monster with a multi-dimensional hydrants in not only afflicting humans with viruses but also incurable disease of revenue diversions.
“It will build a few corrupt and heartless criminals in the art of institutional criminology backed by the same government,” he said.
Nicole described revenue collection in Nigeria as colossal.
He added that it would not be healthy for a government agency to be more financially powerful than the government.
Nicole pointed out that the system should be carefully designed to curtail dictatorship and must be regulated, stressing that the regulator should be regulated.
He said shippers were really awed at the magnitude of financial institutional issues being thought of by the government.
Nicole, however, said the move would automatically make the FIRS a colossus swallowing 65 government agencies from performing one of their very cherished roles that brought about inter-governmental squabbles amongst sister agencies.
“The agencies ended up setting up unnecessary rivalries, creating overlapping functions and infact, making our policy makers to own estates for themselves.
“Such squabbles, we believe, will be eliminated. Drastic control will be in a place, but we should be cautious on having a sole revenue collection agency,” he said.
He added that with this, politicians may not be struggling for positions in key government agencies for plum positions because of the money they make.
“The vision of government to curtail such excesses is welcomed and appreciated, but caution should be observed,” he said.
He, however, admitted that some government had extended their boundaries.
“The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) rather than promoting the development of shipping trade was busy advertising themselves as beautiful bride.
“The Standards Organisation of Nigeria/National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control should merge as a single unit with departments for the purpose of control and creating standards.
“All these organisations were existing under their watch when our textile, tyre industries and pharmaceutical industries left Nigeria due to factors beyond their operational control challenged them unabated.
“NIMASA should have been building lighter service boats, fishing vessels in Nigeria when NAVIMOR, a Polish Shipbuilder, was available.
“So, the decay in government institutions can be controlled if money doesn’t change hands as it were,” he said.
Nicole said that a new dawn would emerge when Nigeria had disciplined people to drive government policies in the correct perspective. #Jonathan Nicole Kicks Against Making FIRS Sole Revenue Collector#