FIRS does not grant tax waivers to local, foreign investors -Nami




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The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has disclosed that the Service did grant any waivers to any local or investors in the country as the FIRS Act did empower it to grant such breaks.

Mr Nami disclosed on Friday in Abuja during appearance before the ’ Public Accounts Committee investigating alleged waivers granted to three firms operating in the country.

The firms are Indorama Petrochemical, Indorama Fertilizer and Petrochemical Ltd and OIS Indorama Eleme Port-Harcourt
Nami said:

“The FIRS does have the power or of facilitating or implementing incentives to local investors or investors coming through the Direct Investment platform, which is the sole prerogative of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)”.

Nami pointed out that “the of the three foreign firms, Indorama Petrochemical, Indorama Fertilizer and Petrochemical Ltd and OIS Indorama Eleme Port-Harcourt, started way back in 2015. The committee in charge of the has consistently been furnished with all required documents by the FIRS”. He further stated that the companies under consideration “have been variously granted pioneer status between December 15th, 1997 to 2016 for the Indorama Petrochemical Ltd and between 2017 – 2020 for the Indorama Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd respectively”. According to him “upon expiration of the pioneer period and conclusion of post pioneer Audit, the Indorama Petrochemical Ltd ’s file was returned to the Large Office (LTO) . Thus far, the has filed its annual returns up to 31st December 2019 with relevant Self-Assessment and paid its attendant liabilities”.

He, therefore, pleaded with the Public Accounts Committee “to always avail itself of the to work closely with the custodians of FIRS , such as the Coordinating Directors, Directors and Tax Controllers as do other House Committees like the Committee on Finance, to enhance its at any time.”

Recall that the Committee on Public Accounts had written a letter of invitation dated 27th May 2021 to the Chairman of the FIRS to appear at its public hearing slated for 9 June 2021 on alleged revenue leakages involving the three foreign firms. However, the FIRS Chairman could not honour the Committee’s summons on that date due to other pressing engagements which included Board meetings.

Appearing in person on the rescheduled date, Nami noted with satisfaction the cordial relationship between the FIRS and the legislators since he assumed office in December 2019.

He seized the to reiterate that “the mandate of the FIRS is to assess, collect and account for tax revenue.” This mandate, he stressed, “is clear and unambiguous.”

Mr Nami used the to call for a continuous cordial working relationship between the National Assembly and the FIRS “especially in this critical time when tax revenue has become crucial to the operations of the three tiers of government.”
He assured that the FIRS under watch “is very keen on collaborating with the Honourable of the Committee and other critical stakeholders in the National Assembly on the Automatic Exchange of Information on tax evasion, tax avoidance and other related issues.”

Nami concluded remarks by emphasising that he remained focused on the task of revenue collection which the Federal Government had assigned him to undertake. This task, he noted, “has its challenges, more so with the ravaging impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and the overall economy. The Management of FIRS is working assiduously to achieve the revenue target set for it by the Federal Government and is not relenting in that objective”.