From Benjamin Babine, Abuja

In order to effectively collaborate on issues concerning the Finance Act 2020, agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy along with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have formed a committee to hold deliberations.

This comes after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Finance Bill 2020 (now Finance Act) into law which introduced over 80 amendments to 14 different laws. It also follows several back and forths between the FIRS and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) on stamp duty collection.

The inter-agency committee which was set up by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, as its Chairman. The membership of the committee include the Executive Chairman of FIRS and heads of agencies in the ministry.

The Committee was set up to discuss critical areas of synergy for the implementation of key provisions in the amended Finance Act 2020 as they affect the operations of the agencies in the ministry. Some of the amendments have implications for agencies under the ministry, especially regarding the provision of information for tax purposes and deployment of technology for tax operations in the country, among others.

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Dambatta, speaking at the interactive session, stated that: “the objective of the interactive session is to deliberate on areas of collaboration between agencies in the ministry and FIRS for the common good of the economy.”

Also speaking, FIRS Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, said: “we have come here to emphasize the need for cooperation and collaboration among the various agencies in terms of revenue generation in order to move the nation forward.”

They are the Post-Master General, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Dr. Ismail Adewusi was also present as he gave his thoughts on the collaboration and what it can achieve. Also in attendance was the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi.

Other contributors during the interactive session include the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar; Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale and the representative of the Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and Dr. Nonye Nwachukwu, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics at the ministry.

Two sub-committees: FIRS/NIPOST and FIRS/NITDA were later formed to deliberate on specific areas that require further dialogue for effective collaboration towards the implementation of the new tax law as it affects agencies under the Ministry. The committees are expected to complete their assignment and make recommendations for consideration by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy .