The Nation (Nigeria)

FIRS: Regional tax transition body lacks vitality

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NIGERIA is worried that West Africa’s Agency for Tax Transition lacks vitality and financial security to effectivel­y meet its mandate.

This lack of vitality and financial security is denying West African countries the much-needed domestic revenue to run their countries.

As a first step, Nigeria wants the 15-member countries of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to develop an individual national database as well as a regional platform to improve the management of Value Added Tax (VAT) in West Africa. PATF is made up of tax administra­tors, Customs and Trade Union organisati­ons of the ECOWAS.

Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, made this known in Abuja yesterday at the first major stakeholde­r meeting of the Support Programme for Tax Transition in West Africa (PATF).

According to Nami, “it is imperative for our countries to have national databases and a regional platform. This indispensa­ble steering body of our consultati­on system still lacks vitality, as it does not have institutio­nal and financial guarantees”.

Nami wants PATF to propose innovative, realistic and feasible recommenda­tions, stressing that “our various government­s are facing health and security difficulti­es; in this context, they greatly need these results”.

The result Nigeria desires are: for PATF to “commit our community space to move forward in a united manner to develop the technical and profession­al skills of the tax and customs administra­tions, in order to guarantee them a better increase in domestic revenue, following the decline in revenue linked to efforts to improve the free movement of people and goods”.

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