NCC, FIRS Initiate Joint Committee to increase Revenues in Nigeria’s Telecoms Sector

Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have taken their collaboration a notch further by setting up a Joint Committee of senior and management staff of the two agencies towards the implementation of inter-agency strategies for enhancing national revenues in the 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 on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

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.

Given the Committee’s composition and with the extensive experience and commitment of its members – which had informed their selection by the agencies – Adewolu stated that the managements of NCC and the FIRS expected no less than an excellent output from the Committee, tasking them to work together harmoniously and in the overall national interest.

In his comments, also Dr. Dick Irri who led the FIRS delegation at the inauguration, advised that the Committee take the tasks very seriously. “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,” He stated.

The Committee’s creation was one of many outcomes of the meeting between FIRS and NCC on March 8th 2022, which was organized at the invitation of Prof. Isa Ali Pantami to discuss the request of the FIRS to obtain data and documents from telecoms industries in order to increase national revenues from this sector.

This is a major achievement as it strengthens the strategic cooperation between the two agencies in pursuit of their statutory aims.

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.

NCC and FIRS activities are recognized as crucial to the Federal Government’s ability to achieve sustainable revenue growth projections. In this regard, the telecoms sector has sustained a relatively high contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the years – ending fourth quarter of 2021 at 12.6 percent.

Moreover, the FIRS recently recognized that certain telecom licensees contribute a significant percentage to total national tax revenues. Both organizations are expected to use the Joint Committee to maximize revenues from the telecoms and digital economy.

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