By Josephine Isaac
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have agreed to adjust some sections of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the efficient management of the free trade zones tax system in order to accommodate salient concerns of the stakeholders.
Recall that the agencies on June 7 signed the tax pact to reconcile all grey areas in the administration on issues bordering tax deductions from free zones and enterprises operating in the zones respectively.
The agreement to adjust the MoU was reached on Wednesday during a roundatable where the document was formally presented to the stakeholders in Lagos.
A cross section of the Stakeholders had raised concerns on some sections of the guidelines as according to them, those sections contravened some provisions of the NEPZA Act for operators in the free zones.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director, NEPZA, explained that the event was to make adjustments where necessary on how the FIRS and NEPZA would treat tax issues relating to business interactions within the free trade zone ecosystem.
He noted that section 5 of the MoU had given parties the leverage to call for the amendment of the tax guidelines when necessary.
“The Authority’s recent diplomatic advances with sisters agencies, especially, the FIRS can only be described as a game changer. We now see ourselves as partners in progress.
“We have always insisted that the free trade zone scheme must be allowed to succeed as that truly remains a potent economic instrument for widespread growth and development.
“Therefore, we have agreed to adjust the tax pact to capture some of the salient concerns of the stakeholders.
“The Authority will not sheer away from protecting the scheme and those who have invested billions of dollars in the scheme. We are delighted that the FIRS has become our advocate in this regard.