The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) have jointly set up a revenue quality assurance committee for the telecommunications sector.
This was the highpoint of the discussions between Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta and Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler after a courtesy visit of Fowler to the NCC headquarters recently, a statement by NCC yesterday said.
The joint committee with four members each from the two organisations, according to the statement signed by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, is to examine and suggest ways through which the level of transparency can be attained via technology in tax management for FIRS and the returns from Annual Operating Levy (AOL) for the NCC.
The committee, which will meet this week, should also see how staff matters including payments are addressed. It is also to audit the states and proffer what benefits are accruable to them in terms of taxes collected.
It is expected to work out a recommendation to facilitate the type approval of telecommunications equipment that can be used for a transparent assessment of the operators revenues.
Prof. Danbatta told his visitor that the NCC had expressed serious concerns over the shutting down of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in the states indiscriminately without recourse to the commission.
Mr. Fowler said his concerns stemed from the fact that MNOs do not remit the Value Added Tax (VAT) already charged as at when due, “while some decide when they will remit it but the law stipulates that such taxes must be remitted to the FIRS between 20/21 of each month. Some too have not fulfilled the annual returns”.
In an earlier working document sent to the commission, the FIRS had requested the permission of NCC to connect its equipment to the MNOs networks for a direct interface to which Prof. Danbatta responded that such equipment must go through the Type Approval process.