Partnership with EFCC crucial for improved tax compliance, revenue, says FIRS chairman

Partnership with EFCC crucial for improved tax compliance, revenue, says FIRS chairman
Mr Zacch Adedeji, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)

Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Zacch Adedeji, has called for synergy between the agency and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in tracking and reporting local and trans-border financial transactions of companies, multinationals and high-net-worth individuals.

Adedeji made the call when he visited the chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr Ola Olukoyede at his office in Abuja on Wednesday.

A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the FIRS chairman, Dare Adekanmbi, quoted the chairman as saying the collaboration was necessary as socio-economic activities “are speedily transcending from bricks-and-mortar to a digital and knowledge-driven economy.”

According to the chairman, FIRS uses third-party data, information and intelligence from sister agencies such as the EFCC to track financial transactions.

Soliciting the commission’s support in terms of data sharing to enhance intelligence gathering and investigation, Adedeji stressed the need for the two agencies to constantly engage and coordinate regular meetings to address specific challenges.

He acknowledged the roles of FIRS and EFCC in ensuring fiscal stability and combating financial crimes in Nigeria, revealing that the existing working relationship between the two agencies has helped in improving tax compliance levels in the country.

“We should also explore the possibility of joint initiatives, public awareness campaigns, and stakeholder engagement with businesses and the general public in promoting tax compliance and deterring economic crimes.

“We could also benefit from joint training and capacity-building programmes to enhance the skills of both FIRS and EFCC personnel in detecting and addressing financial crimes related to tax evasion.

“I am also aware of pending tax investigation cases involving the EFCC. I humbly request the chairman to help us facilitate the transfer and closure of these cases and to enable us to collect the much-needed revenue,” Adedeji said.

While congratulating Olukoyede, Adedeji noted that “As the nation is going through a transformational stage in repositioning its socio-economic landscape through the Renewed Hope Agenda of the president, the EFCC and the FIRS have a critical role in supporting the reforms and ensuring the desired outcomes.”

“While the FIRS strives to raise the revenue needed to fund the operations of the government of the federation, the EFCC has a role in ensuring that these monies are judiciously utilised in line with the social contract with the people.

Reacting, Olukoyede thanked the FIRS chairman, assuring him that the existing relationship between the two agencies would be sustained.

He, however, called for a review of the memorandum of understanding between the two agencies concerning operations in units such as the tax fraud section and joint tax force.

The EFCC boss requested that some staff of the FIRS be released to work at the anti-graft agency to provide technical support on tax matters.