By Josephine Isaac
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have set up a Joint Committee of senior and management staff of the two agencies for the implementation of inter-agency strategies for enhancing national revenues in telecommunications sector.
The NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, inaugurated the 17-member committee on behalf of the Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, and the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, at the NCC’s Board Room in Abuja.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the inauguration of the committee, comprising six officials of NCC and eleven officials of FIRS, was carried out with senior officials of NCC and those of the tax agency led by its Coordinating Director for Compliance Support Group, Dr Dick Irri, who represented the FIRS’ Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami at the event.
While inaugurating the Committee on behalf of the heads of the two agencies, Adewolu stated that the terms of reference (ToR) of the Committee include: “review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NCC and the FIRS on June 9, 2020; and carry out inter-agency interaction on the implementation of the NCC’s Revenue Assurance System (RAS), to ensure that it incorporates the needs of FIRS to the extent that RAS can remain the sole interface with telecom service providers’ networks vis-à-vis the Tax Authority’s information needs from the telecoms sector.
Also in his comments, Dr Dick Irri, who led the FIRS delegation to the inauguration, advised the Committee to take the assignments very seriously. “I would like to ask you to take this assignment as a national matter as we expect the two agencies to work in harmony, collaborate effectively, and have a warm handshake that will make this synergy between the two agencies a great example of collaboration between Federal Government agencies towards enhancing fiscal governance in Nigeria,” he said.
The decision to set up the Committee was one of the major outcomes of the meeting between the FIRS and the NCC on March 8, 2022, organised at the instance of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, to discuss the request by the FIRS for data and documents from the telecoms industry for enhancing national revenues from the sector.
The activities of the NCC and the FIRS are acknowledged as pivotal to the achievement of sustainable revenue and growth projections of the Federal Government.
The FIRS recently acknowledged that some telecom licensees contribute e significantly high percentage of total national tax revenue.