FIRS Boss Charges WA Taxmen On Revenue Mobilization

  • Encourages huge efforts for region’s growth, development

BY COBHAM NSA – The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, says dogged efforts by tax authorities at generating higher tax revenues for their respective countries will help accelerate development across the West African Sub-region.

He also wants fresh vitality and appropriate financial security by the Programme for Tax Transition in West Africa (PATF) to effectively execute and deliver on its mandate.

Nami said governments across West Africa need enhanced tax revenues to tackle many development-related challenges confronting them, especially in the areas of “health and security difficulties”.

The FIRS boss, who noted that lack of vitality and financial security has deprived countries in the subregion of the much-needed domestic revenue to run their countries, spoke on Thursday in Abuja to open the “Regional Seminar on the Problems of Tax Transition in West Africa”, organised by the Steering Committee of Support Program for Tax Transition in West Africa (PATF).

Welcoming delegates and other participants to the event, which was the first major stakeholder meeting of the PATF focused on domestic revenue mobilization in the sub-region, Nami lauded member-countries for the relentless job done since January 2020, the effective start date of the PATF.

He said; “Since the establishment and effective holding of the first Steering Committee, the execution of the missions in progress has accelerated, making it possible to have results that can be shared by the actors of the Program and the beneficiaries.

“Since then, we have come a long way, with results that are certainly mixed, but encouraging and which should encourage us to continue our work.”

On areas where the PATF requires more work to achieve its set goals, Nami listed the following: “The establishment of the PATF Steering Committee; Improving the management of tax expenditures in the region; and Providing a practical guide for Value Added Tax (VAT) management for West Africa.”

Others include: “The creation of a regional methodology guide for the evaluation of tax expenditures; and the establishment of an information system specific to the UEMOA and ECOWAS Commissions.”

He said to achieve these goals, “our countries must have national databases and a regional platform.”

Nami however expressed concern that; “This indispensable steering body of our consultation system still lacks vitality, as it does not have institutional and financial guarantees.”

He, therefore, tasked seminar participants to complete their work as soon as possible, while also proposing “innovative, realistic and feasible recommendations.”

“Our various governments are facing health and security difficulties; in this context, they greatly need these results”, Nami posited.

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