FIRS seeks OECD partnership to collect N4trn revenue from oil & gas companies

Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami Tuesday solicited partnership with Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to meet its projected N4 trillion tax revenue from oil and gas companies in 2020.

Nami reportedly sought OECD cooperation when he received a team from the Nigerian office of the organisation who visited him at the Revenue House Headquarters of FIRS in Abuja.

A statement from Director, Communications and Liaison Department of FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad stated that Nami wanted OECD to help stem tax evasion scheme of oil majors and multinationals operating in Nigeria through the illegal act of transfer pricing under which these foreign companies dodge tax in Nigeria and transfer their profit offshore.

He asked for support in the areas of capacity-building, information sharing, data interpretation, usage and related technical synergy with the OECD in order for the Service to meet tax revenue targets in the extractive industry and the newly emergent Digital Economy.

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The FIRS chairman observed that revolution in information and communication technology (ICT) has made physical filing of tax returns obsolete.

Nami observed that “ICT has also made tax collection more complex, especially in trans-border trade and trans-continental commerce in which big players like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and other e-commerce corporations do big business around, drive the digital economy and yet countries find it difficult to take due tax from the huge economic activities these online giants engage in.

This is more so for developing countries like Nigeria where our people buy luxury goods more and more online while these big online stores don’t pay any tax to us here in Nigeria.”

“The complexity of the Digital Economy to the tax authorities also extents to the telecommunication and financial sectors, including the emerging trades and the exchange carried out using digital currency,” Nami stressed.

In another development, the FIRS and the Federal Fire Service have resolved to work closely with each other in order to protect public property and records from a possible fire outbreak.

Both organisations made this commitment on Tuesday in Abuja when the Comptroller-General (CG) Federal Fire Service, Dr. Liman Alhaji Ibrahim, also paid a courtesy visit to the FIRS Headquarters in Abuja.

The FIRS helmsman commended the Fire Service for coming to the rescue of the FIRS last year during a fire incident that “occurred in FIRS building in 2019 and the prompt response received from your organization.”

Nami canvassed closer collaboration between the FIRS and the Fire Service in such areas as routine visits of firemen and women to FIRS offices for drills and related safety education as well as regular inspection, servicing and replacement of anti-fire equipment like fire extinguishers currently installed in FIRS offices nationwide to ensure their working condition.

The CG pledged to work with the FIRS to protect the Service’s offices and valuable documents against fire outbreak, saying “we are ready to work with your organization to give the best fire service support needed.”

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