NCC and FIRS Establishes Joint Committee

TECHDIGEST– The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have stepped up their collaboration by forming a Joint Committee made up of senior and management staff from both agencies to work on inter-agency strategies for increasing national revenues in the telecommunications sector. The inauguration of the committee, which includes six NCC officials and eleven FIRS officials, was attended by senior NCC and FIRS officials, led by Dr. Dick Irri, the tax agency’s Coordinating Director for Compliance Support Group, who represented FIRS Executive Chairman Muhammad Nami at the event. The terms of reference (ToR) of the Committee, according to Adewolu, are to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NCC and the FIRS on June 9, 2020; and to carry out inter-agency interaction on the implementation of the NCC’s Revenue Assurance System (RAS), to ensure that it incorporates the needs of FIRS to the extent that RAS can remain the sole interface with telecom services. Given the Committee’s composition, as well as the vast dedication and expertise of its members – which had informed the agencies’ selection of them , Adewolu stated that the NCC and FIRS managements expected nothing less than an excellent output from the Committee, and charged them to work together harmoniously and in the national interest.

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Dr. Dick Irri, who headed the FIRS team to the inauguration, also admonished the Committee to take their responsibilities seriously. “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,” he said.

The establishment of the Committee was one of the major outcomes of a meeting between the FIRS and the NCC on March 8, 2022, convened at the request of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, to discuss the FIRS’ request for data and documents from the telecoms industry in order to increase national revenues from the sector. The establishment of the Committee was one of the major outcomes of a meeting between the FIRS and the NCC on March 8, 2022, convened at the request of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, to discuss the FIRS’ request for data and documents from the telecoms industry in order to increase national revenues from the sector.

The inauguration is a noteworthy accomplishment because it strengthens the strategic partnership between the two government agencies in achieving their statutory goals. It also validates the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024 and Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP 2020-2025) as well as FIRS’ strategic framework’s emphasis on building mutually-sustainable relationships with important stakeholders. The NCC’s and FIRS’ efforts are widely recognised as critical to the Federal Government’s long-term revenue and economic plans.

In this way, the telecoms sector has maintained a reasonably high contribution to GDP over the years, with 12.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021. Furthermore, the FIRS has said that some telecom licensees provide a large portion of total national tax revenue. The Joint Committee is meant to help both organizations maximize revenue for the federal government from telecommunications, the digital economy, and related industries.

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