Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have initiated a partnership aimed at improving tax administration as well as addressing a range of investment policy issues that impinge on the ability of the private sector to invest efficiently across the region.
The FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr. Tunde Fowler, who spoke yesterday in Abuja at the first transfer pricing regional meeting for ECOWAS member states, said that there was an urgent need to improve taxation across the West Africa sub-region, even as funds from taxes are needed to boost its economy.
“We can’t rely on the sale of natural assets to fund budgets. Every nation has to rely on taxation to fund projects. It can help many nation. Tax of N5,000 can save the life of a child. No region can rely entirely on aids. It’s no longer about the political will. We need improved taxation for survival. Transfer Pricing might be complex but very important when we get it right,” he said.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has pledged 7.7 million euros to support the ECOWAS region’s plans to entrench transfer pricing.
Head of the EU delegation in Nigeria, Juan Casla, who announced the support, said the forum seeks to address a range of investment policy issues that constitute barriers for the private sector to invest efficiency across the region.
He noted that the EU was concerned about tax efficiency administration in ECOWAs states, urging the region to enthrone an efficient tax administration.
“An improved tax governance and transparency are of paramount concern to EU. We signed two conventions in order to double the support of revenue across the country. That is to support tax efficiency and avoid illicit financial flow by collecting more and spend better.
“How do we implement this support? by leading by example, by implementing the concept at home in EU countries to combat fraudulent tax; to tackle corporate tax avoidance. We have been supporting the UN in this area. We are planning to further support this support to ECOWAS to the tune of 7.7 million euros”, he said.