The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) where the two tax authorities would collaborate on joint tax audit, investigation, capacity building and automatic exchange of information.
The MoU signing ceremony which took place at the State House, Marina, Lagos State, Monday was executed by the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, and the Executive Chairman, LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, and was witnessed by the Honorable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba as well as the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The MoU which establishes a joint FIRS, LIRS Audit and Investigation team obliges the two tax authorities to share relevant information that would assist both parties in their tax administration and enforcement roles, while also providing for capacity building between both authorities.
Speaking during the ceremony, the FIRS Executive Chairman noted that the cooperation would enable the two authorities to work as a team to achieve these objectives. In addition, he said that, “our joint operation, is to ensure that we are able to implement presumptive tax regime as far as issues of tax administration is concerned.”
FIRS boss said, “The major objective of this collaboration is to raise enough funds for Lagos State government and the Federal Government to be able to fund their budgetary requirements.”
In his message to the people of Lagos, Mr. Nami stated that “civilisation globally does not happen by accident,” but that “people or citizens of various jurisdictions, states and countries globally make it happen through the taxes they pay.” Pointing out that taxes provide critical infrastructures such as roads, hospitals, internationally rated airports, schools and be able to cater for security and safety of their citizen
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babjide Sanwo-Olu in his remarks stated that this collaboration commenced over a year ago with the intention to improve the fiscal space of the country.
He noted that the country’s tax to GDP ratio, at around six to eight percent was unimpressive and unacceptable, stating that other nationals within the Sub-Saharan region are doing better.
“Other nations even within the Sub-Sahara region are doing between 14 to 15 percent. If you talk about developed countries, they are doing 35 to 40% and that is what makes them developed countries because indeed, it is really an avenue for you to support your government and hold them accountable.”
The Honorable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba commended the two tax authorities for this landmark agreement, and appealed to other states to follow suit.