The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has cautioned the federal government on the proposed merger of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) into the Nigerian Revenue Services (NRS), aimed at enhancing the efficiency of revenue collections in the country.
Speaking on the state of the economy in Lagos, President, LCCI, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, said while supporting the government’s move to check inefficiency in revenue generation, there is the need to embrace critical stakeholders’ engagement and consultation.
His words: “We note with cautious concern the proposed merger of NIMASA, FIRS and NCS into the Nigerian Revenue Services (NRS). We understand the government’s arguments on the proposed merger, which border on improving efficiency in collecting all direct and indirect taxes and levies.
“LCCI supports the government’s readiness to declare a state of emergency on revenue generation and its resolve to tackle them headlong.
The chamber’s perspectives are in tandem with the government’s need to check the over-bloated and inefficient workforce of the ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs).
“Regarding the merger, we urge the government to embrace critical stakeholders’ engagement and consultation, which we hope will provide further insights into charter-specific responsibilities and possibilities.
“Specifically, the government should ensure that any action that is aimed at enhancing efficiency and ensuring the ease of doing business must be done with adequate consultation with stakeholders. A careful study should also be undertaken to confirm the merit of merging these institutions to ensure that the ultimate objectives are met.
“While we commend the government on some of its recent measures to stop wasteful spending, we urge the administration to halt the revenue leakage of more than $5 billion paid as freight to foreign ship owners.”