The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU], to boost revenue collection at the nation’s free trade zone areas across the country.
Speaking at the signing ceremony recently in Abuja, NEPZA Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba said the MOU only aims at unbundling and strengthening existing tax schedules for compliance purposes in line with Section 19 of the NEPZA Act.
According to him, section 19 of the ACT mandates free zones enterprises to file returns for statistical data, as such information makes public the records of sales, purchases and other key operations of the enterprises as the Authority may require from time to time in line with the Act.
He stated: “The importance of the country’s zone scheme in growing the nation’s economy can not be over emphasized, suffice to say that the authority has through the management of the zones, attracted a cumulative investment of over $22 billion and generated over N40 billion as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Nigeria.’’
According to him, the zone scheme comes with huge prospects and challenges but the authority in collaboration with other agencies like the Customs, FIRS, and other stakeholders is currently working assiduously, re-tweaking its operations to ensure the scheme yields the desired impact in the nation’s economy.
Responding, the Federal Inland Revenue [FIRS] Chairman, Mohammed Nami said the MOU has become very important to enable both organisations to work together to improve and increase tax collections at the free trade zones without conflicting and unnecessary interest and bias.
He said: “We need accurate data from NEPZA and other related agencies at the free trade zones to empower us to do our jobs better.
“Available records indicate that the two agencies have been working together since 2010, so, with the signing of this MOU, we will work together better for the fulfilment of our various mandates. We expect enterprises in the zones to ensure they properly file their taxes promptly for smooth operations’’.
He assured NEPZA management that FIRS is ready at all times to resolve any challenges that may come up later as an outcome of the MOU.