To this end, President Buhari has directed the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, and related government agencies to plug all revenue leakages by ensuring strict compliance of tax payments, urging the deployment of more digital platforms and seamless connections.
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has directed those responsible for the collection of taxes to ensure that foreign companies operating in Nigeria must not be allowed to continue to exploit the markets and economy without paying appropriate taxes.
This is as the President has explained that his administration resorted to deficit budgeting as a result of declining revenues for some years resulting to increase in Nigeria’s debt profile
President Buhari, who gave the directive on Thursday in Abuja during a virtual First National Tax Dialogue at the Conference Hall of the State House, ordered all government agencies to automate operations and ensure more synergy in advancing the interest of the nation in revenue generation.
The President was quoted in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina as saying, “It is not enough that our citizens and local businesses pay their fair share of taxes. Equally, foreign businesses must also not be allowed to continue to exploit our markets and economy without paying appropriate taxes.
“Accordingly, the FIRS has my mandate to speedily put all measures in place to fully implement programmes to stamp out Base Erosion and Profit Shifting in all their ramifications and generally automate its tax processes.
“In line with this, I have directed all government agencies and business enterprises to grant FIRS access to their systems for a seamless connection.
“FIRS must ensure that its deployment of technology for automation is done in line with international best practices. In particular, FIRS can borrow a leaf from other countries which have successfully automated their tax processes.’’
The President said Nigeria will continue to work with the Inclusive Framework (on equal footing) to develop internationally acceptable rules for taxation of the digital economy while hoping that “the Inclusive Framework would have evolved into an acceptable multilateral solution that will comprehensively address the tax challenges of the digitalised economy by the middle of 2021.’’
President Buhari assured citizens that the government will continue to pursue its mandate of improving lives through investments in infrastructural projects like railways, roads, electricity, healthcare and education, in spite of dwindling revenues and the challenge of coronavirus.
“Our government has continued to pursue all those projects despite the massive decline in government revenues occasioned by a combination of factors among which is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The devastating effect of COVID-19 on the health and economy of the world is evident across every stratum of our society. It is obvious to every citizen of this country that our economy is not immune to the global economic downturn.