The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications which the recent Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act (FIRS Act), 2007 have for the ongoing war against corruption in Nigeria.
The paper examines the relevant provisions of the Act, which confers on the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) some anti‐corruption‐related powers. It discusses how the FIRS may benefit from the existing third‐party information regime under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (MLA), 2004, and the amendments that should be made to the MLA to make the information regime under it serve the FIRS' purposes.
The paper points out that the main anti‐corruption‐related power conferred on the FIRS, to investigate the symmetry between taxpayers' lifestyles and their declared incomes, is similar to that conferred on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It notes that declarations by certain categories of public officers to the Code of Conduct Bureau, which the Constitution (1999) contemplates, can provide the necessary base information for the FIRS in the discharge of its anti‐corruption‐related duties.
The paper discusses the desirable amendments to the MLA, 2004 that could make the third‐party information regime under the Act useful for the FIRS in the discharge of its anti‐corruption responsibilities. It also discusses how the taxpayer identification number, which the FIRS Act empowers the FIRS to issue, may be used as income tracker and thus play the type of role which the social insurance number or the social security number plays in Canada and the USA, respectively.
The paper explores the possibility of alternative, and equally potent, institution to prosecute the anti‐corruption war in Nigeria. It is the first to examine how the FIRS, which the newly enacted FIRS Act, 2007 creates, may serve as that alternative. It argues that the power to investigate the symmetry between taxpayers' lifestyles and incomes, which the FIRS Act confers on the FIRS, reinforces a claim that the Act concedes to the FIRS some anti‐corruption‐related responsibilities.
Omotayo Bolodeoku, I. (2009), "The war against corruption in Nigeria: a new role for the FIRS?", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 417-431. https://doi.org/10.1108/13685200910996092Download as .RIS
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