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FIRS Boss Charges Tax Bodies Of ECOWAS, Others, On Tax Evasion


Ebuka Daniel

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Muhammad Nami, has called on tax bodies within ECOWAS and other sub-regions in the continent to focus on domestic revenue mobilization.

He said this at the opening session of the first major stakeholder meeting of the Support Program for Tax Transition in West Africa.

The committee brings together representatives of the ECOWAS and UEMOA commissions on the one hand, and technical assistants on the other.

The FIRS Boss said the establishment and effective holding of the first Steering Committee has made it possible to have results that can be shared by the actors of the Programme and the beneficiaries.

Since then, he said the committee has come a long way with results that are certainly mixed, but encouraging.

He said, “It is imperative for our countries to have national databases and a regional platform.

“This indispensable steering body of our consultation system still lacks vitality, as it does not have institutional and financial guarantees.

“In a year and a half, a lot has been done, but there are still many projects to be undertaken.

“I would therefore like to invite you to complete your work as soon as possible, but above all to propose innovative, realistic and feasible recommendations.

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

He said the work of the committee will help to develop the technical and professional skills of the tax and customs administrations, in order to guarantee them a better increase in domestic revenue.

Nami also said there is need to improve the management of Value Added Tax in the region as this will provide an opportunity to have a practical guide for VAT management

The FIRS Boss also said improving the management of tax expenditures in the region will provide an opportunity to have a regional methodology guide for the evaluation of tax expenditures

He also said there is need for the establishment of an information system specific to the UEMOA and ECOWAS Commissions.

“It is imperative for our countries to have national databases and a regional platform.

“This indispensable steering body of our consultation system still lacks vitality, as it does not have institutional and financial guarantees.

“I would therefore like to invite you to complete your work as soon as possible, but above all to propose innovative, realistic and feasible recommendations.

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

Also speaking at the event, the Director of Fiscal Affairs and Public Finance at WAEMU, Habbas Traoure, said the workshop will help the regions fight domestic tax evasion and drive revenue mobilisation and fight illicit tax flows.

He said, “This will help us develop capacity to do well in this area of tax evasion.

“We have had study on VAT and the ECOWAS commission is proud of the result achieve so far and this seminar is a prove to show that we are on the right track.

“This meeting will help us review what has been done and help the actors to brainstorm on the measures to be put in place to address issues affecting taxation in the region.

The Director of Trade, Customs Union, ECOWAS, Tiemtore Salifou said, ” We must share experiences and move towards moving tax revenue and ensure that international tax standards are implemented.

“The management of VAT, tax expenditure and tax reforms in Nigeria and Liberia will be discussed here and we will discuss how to manage expenditure under a tax regime.”

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