Nigeria adopts pioneering system to collect taxes directly and in ‘real time’ from online transactions
The Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria (FIRS) has signed an agreement with UK based Fintech company E-Technologies Global Limited, to help it modernise its tax collection system for the digital age.
The project is the first of its kind where a pioneering approach to tax collection, enforcement and monitoring is being implemented as a managed service through E-Tech’s Sentinal National Payment Gateway. Sentinal is a unique transaction processing system that instructs integrated payment service providers to deduct taxes or charges at the point of transaction and remits funds in real-time to Governments’ Treasury accounts.
The project with Nigeria starts with the launch of a new initiative by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission of Nigeria to attract ‘Tier 1’ offshore global gaming operators to apply for a five year Permit to offer all gaming and sports-betting services to Nigerian players. Operators must comply with full risk-based AML screening and pass the ‘fit and proper’ test to demonstrate responsible gaming practices before being granted a Remote Operator Permit.
All approved operators will then connect to Sentinal where gaming duty will be deducted from player deposits and remitted directly to the Government in real-time. The Permit has the advantage of allowing global operators to legitimately offer online gaming services to Nigerian players without the need to incorporate locally in-country and is subject to their continuing compliance with the Permit Terms and Conditions.
Mohammad Nami, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria, said: “The world is entering a challenging time where there is a strong obligation on Governments to increase tax revenue as a percentage of GDP so as to provide much needed funding for local infrastructure and public services. Nigeria needs to innovate and harness technology to ensure that online transactions are taxed and accounted for.
“We have been very impressed with the Sentinal System which allows us to not only collect tax revenues at source, but also provides us with tax reporting and monitoring tools in real-time. The system will integrate with our own TaxPro Max portal.”
Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission of Nigeria, added: “Online gaming continues to grow rapidly in Nigeria, particularly on mobile, and the adoption of E-Technologies’ Sentinal National Payment Gateway is a huge step to allow us to capture gaming duty at source.
“We are welcoming all responsible offshore gaming operators to apply for a Remote Operator Permit as long as they pass all the relevant criteria including full AML screening and responsible gaming practices. We are proud to be the first country to adopt the Sentinal System and we believe it will bring a real national benefit to Nigeria.”
David Kicks, CEO of E-Technologies Global Limited, said: “Governments in rapidly developing nations are struggling to keep pace with the evolution of eCommerce and the ascent of mobile transactions. E-Technologies was created specifically to address this issue and we have built an incredibly strong team with unrivalled expertise across fintech, eCommerce and iGaming.
“We are thrilled that the Nigerian Government has made the decision to integrate our Sentinal System, empowering them to streamline online taxation. By understanding better how the payments ecosystem behaves and evolves, we can drive a paradigm shift towards a point of consumption tax methodology.
“This landmark deal will herald a new era in rapidly opening new regulated markets for responsible gaming operators, as grey market operating becomes increasingly problematic.”