Comptroller General of NCS, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi
Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) have joined forces to kick-start what is known as tax identification number (TIN) for importers and Customs licensed agents across the country.
This collaboration was made known to journalists during a stakeholders’ meeting on the new importers TIN, which took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The programme, which was designed to sensitise importers on the new tax regime, is aimed at streamlining tax payment to avoid evasion was the second in its series.
Comptroller General of NCS, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi, who presided at the occasion, stated that the essence of introducing TIN to importers is to streamline tax payment and collection and remove all hurdles involved in operations at the ports.
According to him, NCS has decided to collapse its ASYCUDA modem with FIRS T.I.N. to have a more functional tax regime for importers and agents alike. Importers and agents will be identified by their TIN in the cause of their operation at the ports. Proper documentation of services rendered at the ports makes TIN even more effective.
The Comptroller General of NCS, who was represented by Assistant Comptroller Dera Nnadi, enjoined agents and importers to be professional in the discharge of their duties to make their services less cumbersome.
Director of Communication and Public Affairs, FIRS, Mr. Emmanuel Obeta, revealed that his agency is collaborating with NCS in this new tax regime to close up so many leakages experienced in the payment of taxes into the coffers of the Federal Government.
He explained that TIN was imperative for all importers and agents to allow smoother operations at the ports even as he averred that its introduction does not in any way suggest that FIRS will be involved in the clearance of goods and services at the nation’s ports.
He noted that tax will only be collected on profit made by importers and agents and will not be charged on overheads as speculated.
Thanking FIRS and NCS for organising the programme, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Henry Njoku, said low turnout of his members to the meeting was as a result of inadequate publicity given by the organisers.
He advised FIRS to organise another forum to enable majority of agents and importers to participate, and argued that the attention given to their Lagos counterparts when a similar event took place in Lagos should be extended to his colleagues in the East and South-south.
According to him, the introduction of ports timing device (PTD) to ascertain when a particular document needs to leave a particular seat for another if 24 hours schedule of clearing of goods and services is to be achieved in Nigeria ports.
Stakeholders in the maritime sector, including the President, Association of Importers and Exporters in the Niger Delta, Prince Halliday and the Assistant Director, Communication and Liaison Department, FIRS, Mrs. Nneka Ifekwuna, attended the occasion.