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NCC, FIRS Set Up Committee To Block Revenue Leakages In Telecoms Sector

NCC, FIRS Set Up Committee To Block Revenue Leakages In Telecoms Sector

The Nigerian Communications Commission and the Federal Inland Revenue Service have set up a Joint Committee of senior and management staff to boost Federal Government revenues from the telecommunications sector.

The regulator made the disclosure in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director, Public Affairs of the NCC.

The interagency Committee is a 17-member committee comprising six members from the NCC and 11 members from the FIRS inaugurated by the NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu on behalf of the Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta and the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami.

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.

The committee members were mandated to 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.

The RAS was designed by the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to improve the collation and collection of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) from network operators.

The Nigerian telecoms sector is among the best performing sectors as it contributed 12.6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the fourth quarter of 2021.

The Nigerian government believes that the RAS which is to span a 10-year period will increase the revenue accruals from AOL to the tune of N1.2trn within the period.

The FIRS delegation led by Dr. Dick Irri, advised the new committee to ensure effective collaboration in the pursuit of their mandate .

“I would like to task 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,” Irri said.

NCC 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 Honourable 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 inauguration is a significant achievement, as it deepens the strategic collaboration between the two government agencies in the pursuit of their statutory objectives. It also vindicates the emphasis placed on achieving mutually-sustainable relationships with relevant stakeholders as detailed in both the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP), 2020-2024 and the Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP 2020-2025) as well as FIRS’ strategic framework.

‘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 a significantly high percentage of total national tax revenue. It is expected that the Joint Committee will enable both organisations to further optimise revenues for the Federal Government from the telecoms, digital economy and adjacent sectors of the economy.”

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