NITDA engages multinational stakeholders to boost digital economy

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On Tuesday, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) urged international stakeholders to work together to advance Nigeria’s digital economy.

The request was made at the Lagos 2023 NITDA/FIRS Stakeholders Engagements Forum by NITDA Director-General Kashifu Inuwa.
Inuwa urged the stakeholders to up their game and make on-time levies payments, stressing how important their cooperation was to the country’s digital economy.

According to him, NITDA’s ability to support and promote an environment that allows Nigeria to grow, produce, and reap the benefits of the digital economy depends on the support of multiple stakeholders.

The ecosystem has five critical stakeholders, with you being the most important of them. Therefore, we believe that we cannot succeed in isolation.
NITDA is committed to embracing emerging technologies, developing policies and creating enabling environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs to survive.

“We believe that with you all we can build a more prosperous Nigeria, a country that is at the forefront of Africa’s digital economy and a nation that can compete globally.

“We believe in team work, and together nothing is impossible, we work together and create a prosperous ecosystem for all,’’ he said.

Inuwa while appealing for collaboration, highlighted the benefits as building a global talent factory, completing the secretariat for the implementation of start-up act, and achieving 98 per cent digital literacy by 3030 among others.

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According to him ,all this will not be possible without the stakeholders, as there is the need for their support to complete the secretariat in March and implement the start-up act into law, which will help to have more forecast inflow into the country.

He, however, highlighted some challenges experienced by NITDA as limited infrastructure, skill shortage limited, market access and early stage funding.

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammed Nami, said that NITDA is funded through amongst other things as the payment of a levy of one per cent of profit before tax of companies and enterprises among others.

Nami, who was represented by Mr Kabir Abba, Group lead General Tax, Operation Group, said that FIRS is a key partner of NITDA.

According to him, we assist in the assessment, collection and accounting for their revenue, as stated in Section 16 of the NITDA Act (2007).

“In 2022, FIRS collected and remitted the sum of N22,574,099,600.06 and the total sum collected by FIRS on behalf of the agency from 2008 to December 2022 is N168, 847, 118, 268.22,” he said.

According to him, it is important to showcase the achievements of the agency, particularly as taxpayers can easily make a connection between the taxes paid and its socio-economic impact which will also assist to improve voluntary compliance.

He said that FIRS for instance is continuously implementing initiatives principally driven by the use of Information Technology and many of such initiatives had been successfully implemented including the recently introduced Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate (ETCC).

He said FIRS also introduced the ‘TaxproMax’ solution which has enhanced compliance and collection of taxes from taxpayers.

Nami said more importantly, FIRS had been able to deploy technology to ease the burden of compliance to the taxpayers.

He said that it leveraged this legislation to deploy technology for taxpayers’ compliance and reduce the cost of compliance on the part of the taxpayers.

According to him, FIRS 2022 collection stands at N10.1trillion, as against N6.4trillion collected in 2021, showing a 57.8 per cent increment.

He said a large part of the increase could be attributed to the deployment of technology which had started yielding the desired results.

“NITDA’s collection has also shown a significant improvement as the highest collection recorded thus far was in 2022 at N22,574,099,600.06.

“We will continue to ensure that no revenue gap is left uncovered in our quest to improve tax administration with particular emphasis on full deployment of technology across our service lines and internal operations,” he said.
Nami stated that it was crucial for FIRS to highlight the agency’s accomplishments, particularly in cases where the use of technology in the processes of tax collection and payment has a positive impact on taxpayers and the capacity of the government to provide social goods, essential infrastructure, and other essential services.

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However, the executive chairman gave the FIRS the assurance that they would keep helping the NITDA carry out its mandate of creating and regulating information technology for sustainable development.

Additionally, it was the main driver of Nigeria’s transition to an IT-driven economy. This support is crucial because information technology is essential to the Service’s operations and to ensuring that the country generates more revenue, the official said.

 

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