NNPC, FIRS in crucial talks over unremitted taxes

*NNPC Towers.

*NNPC Towers.

*Lawmakers demand list of defaulting Oil & Gas firms, Airlines, Shipping, Others

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

14 April 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) are holding a crucial meeting to resolve the lingering issues bothering on huge unpaid taxes into the Federal Government’s accounts.

The FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, who disclosed this at the investigative public hearing on the ‘Accounting Procedure of FIRS’, by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee chaired by Michael Enyong, said other defaulting companies being engaged by FIRS over outstanding tax issues, include four airlines, oil and gas firms, shipping companies, among others.

He disclosed that discussion with Federal Ministry of Finance has reached an advanced stage to ensure deduction from the source of various taxes from major oil marketers involved in the oil subsidy and all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on contracts to be awarded.

He explained that the Service is funded by the 4 per cent cost of collection on all non-oil taxes collected by it as appropriated by the National Assembly to meet its personnel, recurrent, capital and other expenditure.

According to Fowler, some of the reforms introduced in the finance and accounts in the bid to secure service delivery include re-engineering leading to cash to accrual based accounting method of recording financial transactions.

Others, he said, are the introduction of an electronic cash book system named Accounting Transaction Recording and Reporting System (ATRRS) and deployment of Acquarius software which is an improvement on ATRRS in that it integrates general ledger transactions with the cash book.

Similarly, FIRS in collaboration with two operational account-holding commercial banks deployed an electronic end-to-end payment system which enables the function to make instant payment directly to the beneficiaries account without submitting manual or soft copies of mandate to banks.

“These systems are called FastPay and GAPS for Stanbic IBTC and GTBank respectively. Subsequently, another end-to-end payment platform for capital transactions on CBN account was also introduced via REMITA platform provided by the vendor named System Specs.

“Implementation of SAP-FICO, an integrated enterprise Resources planning application which combines procurement and finance processes and adapted to interface with the SAR-HR module.

“This system when fully implemented is envisaged to provide the ultimate solution for both budgeting, general ledger accounting, cash book and bank reconciliation and a seamless real-time financial reports generation and analysis for management information for internal decision making and statutory compliance,” the FIRS boss informed the Committee.

In his remarks, Enyong directed the FIRS chairman to submit detail reports of the companies evading taxes for further legislative action.

He explained the investigative hearing was sequel to the resolution passed on the motion brought before the House, adding that the “2014 revenue from FIRS amounted to N4.69 trillion, while the National budget for that year was N4.669 trillion, we can infer from this that if revenue from tax is properly administered transparently, accountability, diligently, it would be sufficient to fund the national budget.”

About the Author