Worried by the high rate of revenue loss through indiscriminate waivers and tax holidays, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has met with top officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on how to stem the tide.
The Chairman, RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam, said this when officials of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council visited him in Abuja on Monday, according to a statement made available by the Public Relations Officer of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed.
Other agencies that the RMAFC hierarchy met over the loss of revenues to government included the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Mbam said the meetings were to evolve strategies on how to reduce revenue losses through indiscriminate granting of waivers and tax holidays.
He urged the NIPC to exercise caution and observe due diligence in the granting of the Pioneer Status Initiative with a view to minimising abuse and reducing consequent revenue losses.
The RMAFC boss called for multi-stakeholder collaboration in promoting investment in all critical sectors of the Nigerian economy so as to fast-track the attainment of national development objectives such as the Vision 20-2020 and the Transformation Agenda of the present administration.
“Nigeria remains an investors’ haven with numerous opportunities in oil and gas, manufacturing, agriculture, telecommunications, chemicals, transport and power sectors waiting to be tapped,” he said.
In order to harness the resources, Mbam said it was necessary for concerted efforts to be made by all relevant stakeholders so as to attract foreign direct investment through the provision of critical infrastructure, legal and regulatory frameworks and tax incentives.
He stressed that the commission, through its economic diversification programme, was at the forefront of forging synergy by bringing all stakeholders together in the quest for the necessary enabling environment for sustainable investment climate that would in the long run turn around Nigeria’s economy, boost its revenue base, create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths and generally improve the socio-economic conditions of the populace.
In her presentation, the Executive Secretary, NIPC, Mrs. Saratu Umar, told members of the RMAFC that her agency had since inception granted Pioneer Status Incentive to 410 companies comprising 175 manufacturing, 42 agriculture and agro-allied, 40 oil and gas, 35 Information and Communication Technology and telecommunications, eight chemical and four transport firms.
Umar explained that the PSI was a fiscal concession designed by government and backed by law to encourage and promote certain targeted industries, activities, products and services identified by the government as priority areas and growth drivers of the economy.