Nigeria woo partnership among African countries on tax foreign digital businesses


By Patience Omoha
Abuja, May 10, 2022 Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has called for improved collaboration among African countries and international stakeholders to effectively subject digital businesses to tax.

This is contained in a statement issued by Special Assistant to the FIRS chairman on Media and Communication, Johannes Wojuola, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The statement quoted Nami making the call at a Technical Assistance Programme, organised by African Tax Administrators’ Forum (ATAF) held in Lomé, Togo.

Naija247news reports that the programme had, as its theme: “Members’ Needs and How to Broaden the Collaboration.”

He said that some African countries had endorsed the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Inclusive Framework’s global solution on the tax challenges of the digitalised economy.

“Our analysis continues to show that the possible cost of administering and implementing the complex rules will far outweigh the expected revenue accruing from its implementation.

“I, therefore, urge the African Tax Administrators Forum (ATAF) to join the discussion at the UN Tax Committee of Experts, South Centre.

“The forum should also collaborate with all other well-meaning stakeholders to explore alternative rules that will enable African countries to effectively subject the digital businesses and base eroding payments to tax in our jurisdictions.

“These collaborations should extend to other rules developed and implemented at international level for the taxation of multi-national enterprises, such as the tax treaty, exchange of information and transfer pricing rules,” Nami said.

ATAF should collaborate with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to explore opportunities for Africa within the programme’s tax for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative.

“It should also ensure that African countries are able to generate appreciable revenue to fund SDGs.

The FIRS chairman stressed the need for capacity building for members in respect of base erosion and profit shifting actions by multi-national corporations and on taxation of the digital economy.

According to him, Nigeria will continue to hold the view that the outcome will produce very minimal revenue comfort for African counties.

“This is instructive, considering the implementation challenges that developing jurisdictions will face due to the complexity of the Pillars I and II rules.

“It is crucial for the ATAF technical assistance to look toward improving the capacity of member-countries’ tax administration through the digitisation of operations,” he said.

Nami urged ATAF to organise peer-to-peer knowledge sharing sessions between beneficiaries of the technical assistance programmes and intensify technical assistance on international tax rules, particularly in the areas of tax treaties, transfer pricing and exchange of information. (