●Minister inaugurates FIRS board
Abdulwahab Isa and Caleb Onwa
The Federal Government yesterday backtracked on its earlier stance to commence implementation of new 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) this January, deferring its implementation to February 1, 2020.
It said the decision was taken after all the necessary administrative procedures had been completed, especially gazette of the Act by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, who offered the clarification in Abuja, explained that once a bill is signed into law, it takes effect immediately.
However, she said there were certain administrative procedures and formalities to be finalised before commencement.
The minister’s latest clarification supersedes the statement by the Accountant General for Federation (AGF), Mr. Idris Ahmed, on Wednesday to effect that implementation had commenced.
The minister spoke yesterday in Abuja when she inaugurated board for Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in her office at Federal Ministry of Finance.
This was as Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Muhammad M. Nami, promised to close all lien cases in order to build new tax enforcement strategies.
This is one of the priorities he lined up to achieve within 100 days as FIRS chairman.
Building staff capacities for service delivery will receive attention in his priority list, as according to him.
Other areas of priorities to be realised in his 100 days include restructuring and repositioning of audit function; review of structures for optimal performance which he said had already commenced but to be formally unveiled at the FIRS corporate strategic retreat.
Noting that the task before the team was huge and enormous, he said the task was critical to the smooth operations of the various tiers and arms of government in Nigeria and by implication the well-being of the Nigerian people.
“I intend to prioritise the following during the first 100-days: Building staff capacities for service delivery. When we make doing business easier for taxpayers, our collection target will be easier to achieve.”