Dr. Dick Irri, Leader of FIRS Delegation (l) and Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC Photo: NCC

NCC, FIRS inaugurate Joint Committee to enhance government revenues in telecoms sector

*The Nigerian Communications Commission says the Joint Committee with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is expected to enable both regulatory organisations to further optimise revenues for the Federal Government from the telecoms, digital economy and adjacent sectors of the national economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In a move to enhance national revenues in the telecommunications sector of the economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have set up a Joint Committee of Senior and Management Staff of the two regulatory agencies towards the implementation of inter-agency strategies for this purpose.

ConsumerConnect reports Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, inaugurated the 17-member committee on behalf of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Commission’s Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), and Mr. Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman of the FIRS, in the NCC’s Board Room, in Abuja, FCT.

The inauguration of the committee, comprising six officials of NCC and eleven officials of FIRS, was carried out with senior officials of NCC and those of the tax agency led by its Coordinating Director for Compliance Support Group, Dr. Dick Irri, who represented the FIRS’ Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami at the event.

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Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs of NCC, stated as Adewolu was inaugurating the Committee on behalf of the Heads of the two agencies, the latter reeled off the terms of reference (ToR) of the Committee to include: Review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NCC and the FIRS June 9, 2020; and carrying out inter-agency interaction on the implementation of the NCC’s Revenue Assurance System (RAS).

The NCC noted this measure is to ensure that the MoU incorporates the needs of FIRS to the extent that RAS could remain the sole interface with telecom service providers’ networks vis-à-vis the Tax Authority’s information needs from the telecoms sector.

Adinde also said: “Given the Committee’s composition and with the extensive experience and commitment of its members – which had informed their selection by the agencies – Adewolu stated that the Managements of NCC and FIRS expected an excellent output from the Committee, tasking them to work together harmoniously and in the overall national interest.”

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Dr. Dick Irri, who led the FIRS delegation to the inauguration, in his comments  on the occasion in Abuja, advised the Committee to take the assignments very seriously.

A group photograph at inauguration of the Joint Committee at NCC Head Office in Abuja, FCT

Irri stated: “I would like to task you to take this assignment as a national matter as we expect the two agencies to work in harmony, collaborate effectively and have a warm handshake that will make this synergy between the two agencies a great example of collaboration between Federal Government agencies towards enhancing fiscal governance in Nigeria.”

Why the NCC, FIRS Joint Committee

The country’s telecoms sector regulatory Commission further explained the decision to set up the Committee was one of the major outcomes of the meeting between the FIRS and the NCC March 8, 2022, organised at the instance of Prof. Isa Ali Pantami,  Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, to discuss the request by the FIRS for data and documents from the telecoms industry for enhancing national revenues from the sector.

READ ALSO: NCC Activating Strategic Plan For Broadband Infrastructure, All-Inclusive Digital Economy ─Danbatta

The NCC as well said: “The inauguration is a significant achievement, as it deepens the strategic collaboration between the two government agencies in the pursuit of their statutory objectives.

“It also vindicates the emphasis placed on achieving mutually-sustainable relationships with relevant stakeholders as detailed in both the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP), 2020-2024 and the Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP 2020-2025) as well as FIRS’ strategic framework.”

According to the Commission, the regulatory activities of the NCC and FIRS are acknowledged as pivotal to the achievement of sustainable revenues and growth projections of the Federal Government.

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“In this regard, the telecoms sector has sustained a relatively high contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the years – ending fourth quarter of 2021 at 12.6 per cent.

“Besides, the FIRS recently acknowledged that some telecom licensees contribute significantly high percentage of total national tax revenue,” said the NCC.

The Commission added it is expected that the Joint Committee will enable both organisations to further optimise revenues for the Federal Government from the telecoms, digital economy and adjacent sectors of the economy.

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