NEPZA and FIRS have signed an agreement on revenue collection in free trade zones

Kings Nwachukwu

Kings Nwachukwu

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the Federal Inland Tax Service (FIRS) have inked an agreement to increase revenue collection at the country’s free trade zone zones.

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA Managing Director, said during the signing ceremony recently in Abuja that the MOU simply aims to unbundle and enhance existing tax schedules for compliance purposes in accordance with Section 19 of the NEPZA Act.

According to him, section 19 of the ACT requires free zone enterprises to file statistical data returns, since this information makes public the enterprises’ records of sales, acquisitions, and other vital operations as the Authority may need from time to time in accordance with the Act.

“The importance of the country’s zone scheme in growing the nation’s economy cannot be overstated,” he said. “Suffice to say, the authority has attracted a cumulative investment of over $22 billion and generated over N40 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Nigeria through the management of the zones.”

According to him, the zone scheme has a lot of potential and challenges, but the authority, in collaboration with other agencies like Customs, FIRS, and other stakeholders, is currently working hard to fine-tune its operations so that the scheme has the desired economic impact.

According to Mohammed Nami, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service [FIRS], the MOU has become critical in enabling both organizations to work together to improve and increase tax collections at free trade zones without conflicting or unnecessary interest or bias.

“In order to empower us to do our duties better, we need reliable data from NEPZA and other connected authorities at the free trade zones,” he stated.

“Based on available records, the two agencies have been collaborating since 2010, so with the signing of this MOU, we will be able to better collaborate in order to fulfill our various mandates.” We want businesses in the zones to file their taxes correctly and on time in order to maintain seamless operations.”

He assured NEPZA management that FIRS is always ready to address any challenges that may arise as a result of the MOU.

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