Nigeria to lead Commonwealth in tackling constraints to tax revenues

Nami emerges 15th Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators' President

MEDIATRACNET

With COVID-19 pandemic taking its tolls on most world economies, the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has promised to lead the Commonwealth tax administrators to build capacity to tackle the challenges affecting revenue earning capacities.

Nami made the promise in his acceptance speech after being elected the 15th President of the 47 member countries of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA).

The former Chairman of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) until November 2020, said due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, taxation has become the main source of revenue to finance governance in most economies of the world.

“Today, taxation has become the mainstay of every economy around the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the earnings of most economies, especially those whose revenue sources were from activities such as recreational tourism, medical tourism, minerals exploration, commodity exportation etc.

“These activities were performed minimally, and in some cases even experienced total cessation due to physical restrictions imposed by many nations during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Economies across the world have had no other choice but to look inward to taxation as the most viable alternative to provide the required revenue to fund the government,” he said.

With the COVID-19 lockdown, he said digital technologies transformed the way and manner humans interact and do business with each other, and consequently brought about novel challenges for tax administrators.

This new normal, he said, brought about a greater embrace of digital technologies that came with its own challenges for tax administrators.

One of these challenges, he said, was the inadequate capacity of tax administrators to understand and track digitised transactions which have become the order of the day.

Regardless of these challenges, Nami, who is the current Chairman of the Joint Tax Board in Nigeria, promised that as President of CATA he would mobilise the member countries and other tax bodies to build capacity of tax administrators to tackle the challenges they face.

“I will work with the CATA Secretariat to effectively collaborate with other tax bodies such as African Tax Administration Forum, West African Tax Administration Forum, Unites Nations, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Network of Tax Organisations, among others, in the area of training and sharing of experience of good and innovative practices in tax administration around the globe.”

He said as President of CATA, one of his major goals would be to work hand-in-hand with member countries to expand the character of tax administration, such that their work would be in tune with today’s innovation and realities,” he said.

The Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) was established following a decision at a meeting of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers in Barbados in 1977.

The 23 founding member-countries of the group has today grown to 46 member-countries, making it one of the world’s largest bodies of tax administrators.

CATA has, since its inception in 1978 focused on building and improving capacity of its members. It hosts annual technical conferences and high-level training programmes annually, while maintaining strategic partnerships with various multilateral and global tax institutions across the world.

The Forum has played a critical role in the formulation of tax policies and procedures of its member countries.

In the speech read during the virtual conference of the Forum, Nami expressed The Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) was established following a decision at a meeting of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers in Barbados in 1977.

The 23 founding member-countries of the group has today grown to 46 member-countries, making it one of the world’s largest bodies of tax administrators.

CATA has, since its inception in 1978 focused on building and improving capacity of its members. It hosts annual technical conferences and high-level training programmes annually, while maintaining strategic partnerships with various multilateral and global tax institutions across the world.

The Forum has played a critical role in the formulation of tax policies and procedures of its member countries.

to all members of CATA for the confidence reposed in Nigeria by electing him as the President, describing it as a call to duty.

He pledged to serve dy, shouldering the great responsibility that comes with the assignment.

“Your support is an honour that I do not take lightly.” Nami stated. “I want to assure all members that I will work assiduously in delivering on the mandate of this office; and I will not disappoint you. It is a great privilege and I do not take it for granted.”

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