The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS has marked its special day at the ongoing 13th Port Harcourt International Trade Fair with colour pomp and pageantry, the event which attracted strategic officers of the agency also had in attendance PHCCIMA exco and members including members of the public who converged to know more about the activities of FIRS
Making his opening remark at Isaac Boro Park, the 2nd Deputy President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Chief Sir Mike Elechi, who represented the PHCCIMA President, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji noted that the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS and the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce have a long history of relationship, this according to him is notfar fetched considering that PHCCIMA have in its kitty a good number of tax compliant companies that regularly interface with the federal inland revenue service, including consistent trade fair participation of FIRS.
He said PHCCIMA as the second largest and most vibrant Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria, have continued to support business, trade and industry in the state, region and country at large through policy advocacy, trade mission and advisory services to her teeming membership, including other stakeholders. As a chamber we also partner with tax administrations in many ways, helping to spread the mantra of responsible citizenship while challenging the government to be accountable to the people in the way and manner tax revenue is being spent.
He congratulated the federal inland revenue service for marking their Special Day at the fair, and requested as a matter of importance the need for them to intensify effort at averting incessant cases of multiple taxation, impersonation of personnel, with critical effort needed to harmonize the taxing system to be more transparent, flexible with continuous improvement exercise geared towards making tax compliance stress-free.
PHCCIMA Treasurer, Dr. Maraizu Uche urged FIRS to establish a toll free complaint/enquiry line where people can easily reach out to them to get need information and clarify on issues.
In his remark, the state coordinator of FIRS in charge of Rivers and Edo, Mr. Joel Onowakpo thanked PHCCIMA for providing such platform for sensitization, he described the theme for the trade “Nigeria Industrial Sector Beyond Oil as ideal as the state is aggressively refocusing its energies to build a strong industrial sector that is beyond the oil and embraces other sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and services w9ith diversification in exports and domestic production to foster economic growth.
Enumerating some of the strides of FIRS in recent times, Mr. Joel Onowakpo disclosed that the agency is supporting the review of the National tax policy, advocating for the simplification, harmonization and streamlining of processes, levies and taxes at state and local government levels.
He also disclosed that that FIRS is reviewing operational regulations to permit tax payers to file tax returns online in any of their office convenient.
He said presently they have created a department known as the federal engagement and enlightenment tax team (FEET) to drive public awareness and engagement campaigns, saying that department is anchoring our participation in this fair and directly engages the business community, stakeholders and the general populace in order to increase tax awareness and compliance.
Hear him: “we have deployed 6 online solutions – e-stamp duty, e-tax payment, e-receipt, e-filing, e-registration and e-TCC, and we are currently working on full deployment of tax software designed to enable swift processing and analysis of data, all to improve quality of service to tax payers” he opined..