The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS and its Lagos State counterpart, LIRS, have signed a memorandum of understanding, MOU, to harmonise tax administration, raise system efficiency and proffer solution to challenges of multiple taxation.

The Minister of state for Finance, Mr Clem Agba, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and stakeholders in the Revenue generation Service witnessed the signing of the MOU at the Lagos House, Marina.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after signing the MoU, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, explained that by the agreement, a joint tax audit system had been established to address duplication of efforts and facilitate exchange of data that are relevant to enforcement of extant tax laws.

The FIRS boss appealed to Lagos residents to trust the government and pay their taxes promptly to achieve the megacity status of the state and the development of more infrastructure.

“We will work together as a team during the investigation and have an automatic exchange of information. With this, we will be able to carry out our mandate seamlessly. As part of the joint operation, we will be able to implement presumptive tax as far as issues of tax administration are concerned,” he said.

On his part, LIRS Chairman, Mr Ayodele Subair, expressed optimism that the collaboration would bring about more positive changes in Lagos.

Mr Subair stressed that with the collaboration tax evasion by high net worth individuals would be difficult.

In a remark, Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu described the collaboration as “epoch-making”, noting that the agreement was not initiated to overburden tax-paying citizens, but to widen the tax base and bring more people on board.

With a sustainable tax administration system, the Governor said more resources would accrue to the Government to reduce social burden and take care of the vulnerable.

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Nigeria has maintained an unimpressive tax to GDP ratio of between 6 to 8 per cent, despite the yearly record-breaking turnovers by both FIRS and LIRS. This, he said, has mounted pressure on the nation’s resources and created an imbalance in Government’s expenditure.

“This collaboration is a win-win for both agencies and our citizens. It means the Government can do a lot more for the residents and provide resources to take care of their needs in health, in education, safety and security, and in everything that makes life meaningful to our people. We are set to remove red tape in the entire tax administration. This is another beginning for a mutually beneficial relationship between FIRS and LIRS.” he stressed.

The Governor observed that the sizes of Lagos’s budgets were significantly lesser than what the State should be appropriating as the market study indicated a N5 trillion budget benchmark for the State, given the size of the State economy’s GDP. With the collaborative effort, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos may be on the right track to raise its budget level to what it should be.

On his part, the Minister of State for Finance , Mr Clem Agba pointed out that the dwindling oil revenue necessitated the need to expand the nation’s tax base to fund development projects.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button