VAT Increase Takes Effect From February 1, FG Tells Nigerians

 

The Federal Government has said that the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5 to 7.5 percent will take effect from February 1, 2020.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed on Thursday, during the inauguration of the Chairman and Board members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Abuja.

READ ALSO: It’s Official! Nigerians To Pay 7.5 Percent Value Added Tax

Mrs. Ahmed stated that the Finance Act had made provisions support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and soften the effect of the VAT rate increase on companies in a bid to increase employment and boost the economy.

“I want to state that one of the key provisions in the finance act 2019 that have elicited a lot of interest is the increase in the VAT from 5% to 7.5%, and to remind us all, the finance bill has made copious provisions to improve the ease of doing business; so we have a category of companies that have turnover of 25% and below that will be paying no taxes at all, and also we have reduced tax rates for companies that have turnover from 25 million to 100 million from 30% to 30%.

“The essence of this is to encourage formalization of businesses from the informal sector and also to encourage businesses to grow and become more productive, thereby increasing employment and also meeting the commitment of Mr. President to remove 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years.

“The effective date for the VAT increase from 5-7.5% will be the 1st of February 2020,” she stated.

President Muhammadu Buhari last week, signed the 2020 Finance Bill into law after it had announced plans in September 2019, to review the VAT through consultations at various levels in the country.

FIRS Offers One-Month Window To Issue Tax Clearance Certificate

A file photo of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @firsNigeria.

 

 

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has offered a 30-day window to enable taxpayers in the country to obtain their Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC).

FIRS’ Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, announced this in a statement personally signed by him over the weekend.

The exercise is scheduled to take place between January 2 and 31, 2020.

Nami explained that the objective was to address the difficulties facing taxpayers and to assist them in meeting their obligations as they might need the TCC.

According to him, the offer to ease issuance of TCC is in accordance with the provisions of Section 101 (1) of CITA LFN 2004 and in conformity with Self-Assessment Regulation, 2011.

The FIRS boss, however, warned that FIRS would not hesitate to invoke the provisions of the law against any taxpayer found to have misled the agency to issue a TCC.

The statement read:

Following the numerous complaints received from our esteemed taxpayers with respect to difficulties encountered before obtaining Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) and the fact that taxpayers need TCC to enable them to, inter alia, seek and obtain contracts and loans, renew permits, registrations, franchises, agreements and/or licenses that will invariably generate revenue from which taxes will be paid, Management has looked into the above complaints and has taken steps to ease the process of obtaining TCC.

Consequently, notice is hereby given that the Service has put in place machinery to issue 2020 TCC for all eligible taxpayers from 2nd January to 31st January 2020.

The Service may not hesitate to use enforcement activities including imposition of lien on bank accounts of such defaulting companies to recover any outstanding debts when it discovers that the taxpayer has misled the Service in her duty to observe tax compliance.

The issuance of TCC to ease the burden of taxpayers is in line with the provisions of Section 101 (1) of CITA LFN 2004 and in conformity with Self-Assessment Regulation, 2011.

Taxpayers are therefore encouraged to take advantage of this initiative and apply for their 2020 TCC, as soon as possible.

NIPOST Workers Protest Stamp Duty Collection By FIRS

 

Staff of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) on Thursday staged a protest over the planned takeover of the collection of stamp duties by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The protest took place at the Ministry of Finance, Abuja.

“We have heard that the Ministers say stamp duty is a form of tax and therefore should be collected by the FIRS,” General Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, who led the protesters, said.

“And we wonder whether FIRS will take over the responsibility of Nigerian customs because they are collecting import duties,” he added.

 

Union leader, Dr Ayo Olorunfemi (right) at a protest rejecting the planned FIRS takeover of stamp duty collection on Thursday in Abuja.

 

On her part, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed said talks are still ongoing.

She, however, asked the protesting workers to submit a position paper on the issue.

Senate Confirms Muhammed Nami As FIRS Chairman

A file photo of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @firsNigeria

 

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of Muhammed Mamman Nami as the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The confirmation followed the consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Finance, presented at plenary by the panel chairman, Senator Solomon Adeola.

READ ALSO: Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm New FIRS Chairman, Members

The nomination of other members of the board was also confirmed by the Senate.

They include James Yakwen Ayuba, Ado Danjuma, Adam Baba Mohammed, Ikeme Osakwe, Adewale Ogunyomade and Ehile Adetola Aibangbee.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter dated December 9, asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Muhammad Nami as FIRS chairman.

According to a statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Nami is a well-trained tax, accounting, and management professional with highly rated qualifications and professional practice and licenses from relevant professional bodies.

He replaces Babatunde Fowler whose term of office expired on Monday, 9th December 2019.

FIRS, AMCON: Senate To Receive Reports On Nami, Adamu Next Week

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary in the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

 

The Senate is to receive the report on President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, and members of the agency on Wednesday next week.

Similarly, it would receive the report on the President’s request for the confirmation of Edward Adamu as Chairman of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

During plenary on Wednesday at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, the lawmakers referred the requests to the Senate Committee on Finance for further legislative action.


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Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm New FIRS Chairman, Members


The committee chaired by Senator Olamilekan Adeola was directed to submit its report on December 18 before the National Assembly adjourns for the Christmas break.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers have approved the report of the Conference Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on the Finance Bill passed by the National Assembly recently.

They also received the 2020 statutory budget proposal of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

In a letter dated December 10, 2019, and addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, President Buhari requested the National Assembly to consider the 2020 budget proposal of the FCTA.

He explained that the request to the Senate was in compliance with Sections 121 and 299 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The letter read: “Pursuant to Sections 121 and 299 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith, the 2020 statutory budget proposal of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate.

“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm New FIRS Chairman, Members

A file photo of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @firsNigeria

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of the chairman and members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

His message was conveyed in a letter which was read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Tuesday in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

This comes a day after the Presidency announced the appointment of Muhammad Nami as the new Executive Chairman of the FIRS.

READ ALSO: Buhari Nominates Muhammad Nami To Replace Babatunde Fowler As FIRS Boss

The request, President Buhari said, was pursuant to Section 3(2) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007.

The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 3(2) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007, I am pleased to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the underlisted names of nominees as the Chairman and Members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.”

Members and representatives of geopolitical zones appointed include James Ayuba – Member (North Central); Ado Danjuma – Member (North West), and Adam Mohammad – Member (North East).

Others are Ikeme Osakwe – Member (South East), Adewale Ogunyomade – Member (South West), and Ehile Aigbangbee – Member (South-South).

Representatives of MDAs also nominated are Ladidi Mohammad – Member, Attorney-General of the Federation; Godwin Emefiele – Member, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Fatima Hayatu – Member, Ministry of Finance, and Maagbe Adaa – Member, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)

Others are Umar Ajiya – Member, Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC); DCG T.M lsah – Member, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and Registrar General – Member Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Fowler Thanks Buhari, Hands Over To Abiodun Aina

 

Immediate past Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Tunde Fowler, yesterday thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the privilege he had to serve the nation and for what he was able to do with the support of all Staff.

Waxing biblical, Fowler noted that the taxman job is one of service to one’s fatherland as it gives one the opportunity to serve fellow humans and the nation.

Change, he noted is constant.  It is normal that people will always resist change, he noted.

He spoke at arbour 6: 35 pm as he handed over to the Coordinating Director Domestic Taxes Group, Abiodun Aina, who promised to steady the ship of the FIRS.

Said Tunde Fowler in a handover over ceremony at the Boardroom of the FIRS: “Let me thank all of you who are here for what we have been able to do for our country. From the driver to the senior staff, everybody played a role.  But with the change, sometimes there is resistance. People will not understand the vision, will not understand the reason for the change. But hope in leaving FIRS, I’ve left behind something, something, positive, that each and every one of you can build on.

“We have got a mandate. That mandate is not just to collect revenue. It’s a mandate to collect the maximum amount of revenue for all concerned for the benefit of all Nigerians.

“There is nothing automatic about having a second Term.  Some of you might say it’s a big surprise.  It a privilege to serve one’s country. And if you have the privilege of serving your country for one term and you believe you have done your best, you have to thank God for that.

“For those of you we are leaving behind, I do not want to get too scriptural. But I believe that anything that you do, that helps your fellow human being, your neighbour is a blessing. And I believe that this job that we have been given is a job that will continue to help all Nigerians and all people residing in Nigeria.

“We have the opportunity to show the world that Nigeria has a lot to offer. It was during this period that we had a top Director, representing Nigeria and the world at the OECD. It was within this period that Nigeria, for the first time chaired ATAF (African Tax Administration Forum), for two years running. It was within this period that Nigeria through your support was appointed as the 1st Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Committee of Tax Experts. So we have a lot going for us.

READ ALSO: Buhari Nominates Muhammad Nami To Replace Babatunde Fowler As FIRS Boss

“I like you to keep the flag flying, but I hope that sometime when I visit, my picture will be somewhere on the wall.

“One thing, for people who have known me for a while, is that some of them refer to me as a shark. I like to keep people on their toes. Some of you might have thought that I don’t appreciate your contribution. But some of you… might have been able to do things better. And part of my role is to bring out that potentials in you. And I hope I have been able to do that. I am content.

“I like to thank the President for giving me this opportunity of service. It’s a privilege of service to your country. But at the same time, I believe I leave behind a good crop of directors that can move this organisation forward.

“I will say that for the incoming Chairman, for the incoming Board of Directors, give them the support. The vision, I believe, is the same vision that we have. But how to go about it may differ. Open yourselves up to change. At this point, it gives me the extreme privilege, to hand over the running of this organisation until the Senate approves the new Board, to someone who has been here, to someone who understands the working of the FIRS, to someone who has been part of the change. And I believe that you will give him the support, not even the support you have given me. But more support. SO that when he hands over the organisation to the new board, they will see that this organisation is one that shares the same vision, and of course believes in his mandate. With these few words, I like to say it’s a pleasure working with all of you.

“Some of you might have thought that don’t like you. But I assure you it was work. But I believe in this room, we have got a lot of talent regardless of what happens, keep the flag flying.

“On this note, Mr Aina, I have the privilege of handing over FIRS to you. God bless FIRS. Long live the Republic of Nigeria.

Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Abiodun Aina spoke in glowing terms about Fowler. Said Aina: “Thank you very much Mr, Chairman, my boss, my brother, and my good friend Sir. As you hand over to me I say what I’m I running. To have fought a good fight. You laid a very u solid foundation…

“Within the intervening period that I will be holding forte, I promise you to steady the ship, by the grace of God. You have done a lot within the space of four years. You have transformed FIRS. You have modernised it. There has been a lot of innovations. And under you, we have achieved great heights. When we look back in 2015, the section was about N3. 3 trillion. At the end of 2018, with your leadership, we were able to move to N5. 32 Trillion. That was the highest collection ever, in the annals FIRS. You brought dynamism to FIRS.

“You introduced so many programmes that repositioned FIRS: Tax Amnesty Programme implemented VAIDS, increased the no of taxpayers nationwide to over 20 million in a spate of four years, began placing lien on the account of taxpayers to ensure that each capable corporate taxpayers pay his/her dues, fostered collaboration amongst the states through the Joint Tax Board, began robust information sharing amongst states, launched the JTB TIN so that states might have access to data for tax purposes, deepened FIRS’ embrace of technology for tax purposes and many more.

“But like you also mentioned in your speech, change is usually resisted. And so you stepped on toes. That is normal. Leadership is not a popularity contest. And I’m sure you know that very well. And that was why you were focused on carrying out the mandate that was given to you. I can tell you on behalf of my colleagues here that we will miss you.  You have left a very big shoe behind. We will do all we can to ensure that we will keep the flag flying.

“Thank you very much for what you have done for us.”

As Aina ended his brief remark, directors and heads of department in attendance, held hands and sang For he’s a jolly good fellow, chorus” for the outgoing executive chairman. Many pumped hands and thanked Fowler for his contribution to the Service.

Buhari Nominates Muhammad Nami To Replace Babatunde Fowler As FIRS Boss

A file photo of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @firsNigeria

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Muhammad Nami to replace Babatunde Fowler as the new Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

The President also approved the composition of a new board for the FIRS subject to Senate confirmation.

The board is composed of a member representing each of the six geographical zones and statutory representatives from a select number of ministries and government agencies.

According to a statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Nami is a well-trained tax, accounting and management professional with highly rated qualifications and professional practice and licenses from relevant professional bodies.

He replaces Fowler whose term of office expired on Monday, 9th December, 2019.

The outgoing FIRS boss is expected to hand over to the most senior director on the board, who will take charge, pending the senate confirmation of the new board.

 

Muhammad Nami Bio

Nami attended Bayero University Kano and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology (1991) and a Masters of Business degree (2004) respectively. He is a fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria and Associate Member of Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria.

He started his career with PFK in 1993 and rose to the position of a senior Consultant in charge of Tax management and advisory services. He is currently the managing consultant of Manam Professional Services (Chartered Tax Practitioners and Business Advisers) based in Kaduna, Abuja, Niger State.

Mr Muhammad has served, and is still serving, on many companies’ Board and Statutory Board Audit Committees. He was appointed as a member, Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Stolen Assets in November, 2017 by President Buhari.

Video: Why CBN, FIRS, NNPC Are Excluded From IPPIS


The Director of Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) Mr. Olufehinti Olusegun has shed more light on why the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and a few other agencies are not on their platform.

Mr. Olusegun explained that they are all revenue-generating agencies of the Federal Government who don’t get their personnel cost from the consolidated revenue funds.

The IPPIS boss who was on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday stated that the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari was decisive and it targeted Ministries, Department, and Agencies of Government who draw their cost from the consolidated revenue funds.

President Buhari, during the 2020 budget presentation to the joint session of the National Assembly, directed that all Federal Government workers yet to be captured in the IPPIS platform risk not being paid by the end of October 2019.

The directive generated a reaction, particularly from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who argued that they were not under the MDA’s and such arrangement will not fit into the university system.

“It is surprising because the President’s directive was direct and decisive that all MDA’s or institutions drawing their salaries from consolidated revenue funds which are a Federal Government account is to key into IPPIS.

“The government knows that all agencies cannot be brought in at a go, but for those who get their personnel cost from the consolidated revenue funds of the FG should be brought on board.

“For CBN, FIRS, NNPC they are revenue agencies who live on cost of collection; they are revenue-generating agencies to FG so they don’t draw from the consolidated revenue funds as of today.”

READ ALSO: House Of Reps Increases 2020 Budget To N10.6tn

He added that, “it is left to government to know what to do because it is a journey that has just started which FG believes the best way to save Nigeria scarce resources is to ensure these monies are not wasted through other means, that is why FG restricted it to consolidated revenue funds MDAs that come to request for funds.”

Mr. Olusegun revealed that between 2017 and 2018, the Federal Government realized over N273bn from MDAs and ASUU by association with the Ministry of Education, should be captured on the platform.

However, the President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, posited that going by the IPPIS arrangement, it will be impossible to welcome university scholars who come to add some support service to the system.

He said that the original design of IPPIS is meant for accountability in the civil services and universities are not part of core civil service.

“Universities welcome scholars who come for some support services to revitalise the system, but Nigeria, going by IPPIS arrangement, would not have room for that, even if a scholar in diaspora wants to come to Nigeria for one year sabbatical leave, bringing a lot of experience, the IPPIS arrangement will not accommodate such.

“IPPIS was originally designed as a program meant for professionalism and accountability in the civil service and universities are not part of MDAs of core civil service.”

CBN, FIRS, Others Fail To Submit Audited Accounts Even As 7 Day Ultimatum Elapses

 

 

At the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum given to them by the Senate to submit their audited accounts, eighteen out of the twenty-five agencies of government have neither presented them nor written to explain the rationale for the nonsubmission.

Against this backdrop, yesterday issued another strong warning to these agencies of government to make available to it the reports in the overall interest of the country or would be brought to Public Arena.

In a statement signed yesterday by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo South once again read a riot act to Ministries, Departments, Agencies; MDA that have failed to disclose their financial transactions as stipulated by the Constitution.

According to Urhoghide, agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS and the Niger-Delta Development Commission(NDDC) failed to honour the seven-day Ultimatum given to them to forward to the Committee, their audited accounts.

He listed other defaulting agencies to include: the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Federal Capital Territory Administration,

Others are National Agency for Science and Engineering and Infrastructure (NASENI), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency(FERMA), National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.(NIMASA), Petroleum Equalization Fund, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Presidential Amnesty Programmé, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company,(NPDC).

Others are the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Railway Corporation, and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

Urhoghide said, “Recall that on 20th November 2019, the Senate Public Accounts Committee called a press conference to draw the attention of some agencies of government numbering 25 about their failure to submit relevant documents on their income and expenditure for its oversight functions. The agencies were given 7 days to send their responses to the Committee.

” Despite the lapse of time, some agencies have refused to respond to the Committee. The Committee in carrying out its oversight functions will not relent in ensuring that the agencies are called to account for their stewardship in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, Senate Standing Orders, and extant Acts.

” It is necessary for these agencies to note that they must comply with the directive of the Committee in the overall public interest.”

Finance Bill: FIRS, NNPC, Customs, Others Must ‘Sit Up’ – Senate

A file photo of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @firsNigeria

 

 

The Senate has asked agencies of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of generating revenues to be more efficient in discharging their duties.

Such agencies include the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Nigeria Customs Services among others.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, stated this during plenary on Thursday shortly after lawmakers in the upper chamber of the National Assembly passed the Finance Bill.

“The revenue-generating agencies will have to sit up; the Senate will be mounting a lot of oversight on the revenue agencies,” he said.

READ ALSO: Senate Passes Finance Bill Proposing VAT Increase, Others

The bill seeks to amend six tax provisions and make them more responsive to tax reform policies and the Customs and Excise Tariff Act to encourage local manufacturers.

The legislations under it include Companies Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Customs and Excise Tariff, Capital Gains Tax Act, Petroleum Profit Tax, Personal Income Tax, and Stamp Duties Act.

The billed was passed after it was read for the third time on the floor of the Senate, following the presentation of the report of the Senate Committee on Finance by Senator Adeola Solomon.

Addressing his colleagues after they shared their various perspectives on the effects of the bill on the nation and its people, the Senate President explained that the bill aims to help Nigeria generate more revenues.

He said, “Let me thank all of us for passing the seven Acts in the Finance Bill to ensure that we streamline the tax system in Nigeria and ensure that we get revenue for the government to provide infrastructure for this country.

“What we have done is very significant because this is to ensure that we not only have sources of funding for the 2020 Budget but also for subsequent activities of the government.”

“We must ensure that any agency that is charged with generating revenue must discharge its function judiciously.

“What we have done is to create more revenue to provide infrastructure for the Nigerian people,” Senate President Lawan stated.

NigeriaAt59: Buhari Warns FIRS, Others Of ‘Severe Consequences’ For Failure To Meet Targets

A file photo of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @firsNigeria

 

 

President Muhammad Buhari has warned revenue-generating agencies in the country against failure to meet their targets.

He issued the warning to the agencies, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service in his Independence Day speech to the nation on Tuesday.

The President said, “Our revenue-generating and reporting agencies will come under much greater scrutiny, going forward.

“The new performance management framework will reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failure to achieve agreed revenue targets,” he added.

READ ALSOPresident Buhari’s Independence Day Address (Full Speech)

 

President Buhari was pleased with the level of food security and self-sufficiency in the country, noting that the journey “is well underway”.

According to him, the present administration has made remarkable progress in almost all segments of the agriculture value chain, from fertilisers to rice and animal feed production.

The President pledged that his administration would sustain the policies to ensure additional investments were channelled, thereby creating more jobs in the sector.

He said, “We must not go back to the days of importing food and thereby exporting jobs.

“Our commitment to achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification has been underscored by the merger of the Ministry of Finance with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.”

President Buhari explained that the combined ministry has an important mandate to enhance the management of domestic and global fiscal risks.

He added that the ministry would coordinate policies with the trade and monetary authorities, raise and deploy revenues to fund budgeted expenditure, as well as integrate annual budgets and medium-term fiscal strategies.