Monday, May 27Inside Business Africa

Tax Race Has Taken Over Arms Race Across The World – FIRS Boss, Nami

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has said that tax race has now overtaken arms race amongst the nations of the world.

“The well-known arms race among nations is gradually giving way to tax-race.  The international struggle for, and against digital services tax is just the beginning of the tax race.  It is a race for all nations – developed or developing.  And for Nigeria, it is a must-win race.”

Nami, who spoke today, January 21, at the First Annual National Tax Dialogue organized by the FIRS at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that the universal collapse of traditional government revenue sources and the consequential resort to tax is a testimony to the tax race that is merging.

He stressed that the FIRS would match on to digitalize the tax process fully and canvassed the cooperation of the three tiers of government, the citizens and corporate organizations in the country for the success of the digitalization drive.

“The FIRS started the journey to automation several years ago when it launched Project Fact.  Several other initiatives were launched to further take advantage of evolving technology in taxpayer registration, online payment platforms, remote filing of returns, etc.  However, there was very limited success with the various initiatives due to inadequate statutory framework.

“A quantum leap was achieved with the 2020 Finance Act which copiously provided legal grounds for deployment of technology in tax administration.  The Service is grateful to the President, the leadership of the National Assembly, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and all other stakeholders that worked together to enact the necessary laws.

“The Service is taking advantage of the new law to embark on studies (with the assistance of friendly tax authorities and international tax organisations) with a view to developing a robust digitalisation roadmap.  The roadmap will enable the Service to digitalise its whole operations (end-to-end) in a systematic, coherent and efficient manner.

“There is so much to look forward to in the coming years.  The FIRS is starting this decade with the resolve to leapfrog tax administration into the digital age. Ladies and gentlemen, we are banking on your continued support as we embark on this onerous journey.”

The event, which was declared opened by President Muhammadu Buhari, had as its theme: “Taxation in a post-Covid Economy.”


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