The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Federal Inland Revenue Services have opened talks on three crucial areas both agencies could explore to mitigate financial tax frauds and other corrupt vices.
During a visit to the FIRS Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, the ICPC Chairman, Dr Musa Aliyu, SAN stressed the need for effective collaboration to deepen mutual cooperation and synergize efforts for greater impact in the anti-corruption drive.
In his address, the ICPC chairman stated that the essence of the courtesy visit to FIRS hinged on discussing three areas of collaboration that would help the cause of tackling corruption most especially the ones that are tax-related.
Aliyu said, “First of all, there are three critical areas which we need to look at. First to consider is the issue of sharing information between the two organizations and technology integration. We need to set up a structured process of regular information sharing between us so as to detect potential corruption or fraudulent activities in tax-related matters.
“You have the expertise on tax and we have the mandate of preventing corruption, so I believe effective collaboration would help to identify and tackle the fraudulent practices in the system.
“The second area is the issue of joint investigation and legal reforms. This is an area in which the ICPC and the FIRS need to come together because we know that sometimes corruption also comes in the form of tax evasion and other means of fraud.
“Then the last is the issue of capacity building, which is very important because no organisation can perform its function effectively without the support of the government. We can come together to train or organise programs jointly for members of our staff and organisations so as to enhance our skills and knowledge in detecting and preventing corruption which is related to the issue of the tax system in this country.”
On his part, the Chairman of the FIRS, Dr Zacch Adedeji, expressed delight about ICPC’s visit and the expression of interest to help the revenue-generating agency tackle tax-related frauds in Nigeria.
Adedeji said, “I am hopeful and optimistic that we will collaborate effectively, and I am particularly delighted that with your support, our enforcement mandate on tax matters will improve.
“We will also develop a framework and we will use technology to do so and I believe you are a ready-made partner for us in the area of revenue generation and the progress, not only for individual agencies but for the federal government as a whole.”