The Nigerian government has ordered all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms to complete and submit Self-certification forms.
This was announced by the Federal Government in a social media statement on Thursday. The FG warned that failure to comply may include a monetary penalty or inability to operate the account.
It stated, “This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions. Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete & submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.”
This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 17, 2020
According to the government, the certification forms would be in 3 categories, which are “Form for Entity – For Controlling Person (Individuals having controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc) – Form for individual”.
Comply or face sanctions: The Government urged Nigerians to comply with the requirements and execute all forms needs, if not sanctions may be introduced in the forms of monetary penalty or inability to operate the account.
- The government did not explain what those sanctions will be and how it will be implemented.
- The inability to operate the account suggests the government could end up freezing the bank account of Nigerians
- Nigerians have over N30 trillion in bank deposits according to Nairalytics research.
What this means: It appears this is part of the government’s efforts to widen the tax base as it steps up its strategy of relying on taxes to increase its revenue. Government revenue has been hard hit by the drop in oil prices and the Covid-19 Pandemic affecting its ability to pay for development programs, meet overheads and offer palliatives to Nigerians who are reeling from economic crunch.
The government has over the years introduced several measures targeted at increasing tax revenues. For example…
- Last year, the FIRS launched a new universal TIN aimed to boost tax compliance and revenue collection in the country.
- Former FIRS Boss, Fowler, stated then that “the new system is able to generate TIN automatically for newly registered cooperate taxpayers from CAC, verify TIN details and print TIN certificate, using the TIN Verification Portal.
- And that “The system also allows tax officials and taxpayers to initiate TIN registration from the comfort of their homes/offices and at their convenience, as the system also notifies the taxpayer through a robust and secured system-system integration, with transparent and convenient benefits.”
What they are Saying: Social media in Nigeria erupted in a frenzy as twitter users reacted to the tweets by the government’s handle.
- Tweets had gathered over 3,800 comments, over 8,000 retweets, over 3000 tweets.
- Here are some tweets;
BVN. Driver's license. National ID card. INEC registration. International passport. Biometrics were taken in all these places. So, what is the meaning of this?
— Olusegun Adeniyi (@Olusegunverdict) September 17, 2020
Best to wait and understand the goal of the certification first. Looks like a self-enforcement tax issue, not an identification issue. Let’s get details.
— Amaka Anku (@AmakaAnku) September 17, 2020
Dear Nigerians, let's gather and cry under this tweet. For God sake, They can make the form available online. We'll just fill and submit but are acting as if we are in the 20th century.
— Abdullahi Misilli (@Abdallahmisilli) September 17, 2020
So people in the abroad (sic) should also come and queue up to fill forms. Unless that's your target, to take people's hard earned money away from them. How does this policy even make sense in this pandemic season? Who still queues up physically for banking activities in 2020?
— Mr Scholes (@solscholes) September 17, 2020
— Valentine Ohu (@Valentine_Ohu) September 17, 2020
#EndSARS: NCAA denies alleged shut down of airspace, as Turkish Airlines takes off tonight
FAAN has reportedly shut down the air space of the nation due to alleged unrest in the country.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has denied the alledged shut of the nation’s airspace due to the unrest, arising from the hijacked #EndSARS protests in Lagos, Abuja, and some other states in the country.
Though, the authority has not issued an official statement on the development, a source in the apex regulatory body told Nairametrics that the airspace remains open in Lagos and Abuja.
He said, “It is not true that the airspace is shut as rumoured on some social media platforms. Turkish Airline is attending to its passengers at the moment and the flight is tonight. So, where is the airspace being shut coming from.
“Delta Airline decided to divert the Lagos bound flight to Dakar, Senegal before going back to New York not because our airspace is shut but its Lagos office informed the Pilot that there is curfew in Lagos. Expectedly, American airlines are so sensitive to issues like that.”
Back story: A Twitter user, Osasu Onayiuwana, whose friend is one of Delta Air passengers en-route Lagos from Atlanta, USA, had alleged that Delta Airline returned ti New York because Nigerian air space was shut.
He tweeted, “A friend returning to Lagos, from Atlanta on @Delta has been informed, during their Dakar, Senegal stopover, that @Nigeria’s airspace has been closed. They are now flying back to Atlanta!
“Actually, his plane is currently on the way to New York, from Dakar. Before this, some passengers asked @Delta to allow them to find their way to Lagos from Dakar. Understandably, the airline refused.”
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) October 20, 2020
Update: US embassy shuts down consulate in Lagos over violent #EndSARS protests
The US Embassy in Nigeria has announced closure following violent clashes in many parts of the country.
The United States embassy and consulate in Nigeria, has announced the shutting down of its consulate in Lagos State for two days with effect from Tuesday, October 20, 2020, due to the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protest which has been hijacked by hoodlums, with several properties destroyed and lives lost.
This was disclosed in a statement to American citizens, issued by the US embassy and consulate in Nigeria, on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
This is also coming after the Lagos State Government declared a 24-hour curfew due to the outbreak of violence across the state during the protests.
The US embassy and consulate in its statement said,
“Multiple demonstrations are ongoing across Nigeria – to include areas within the consular districts of Abuja and Lagos. Although most demonstrations are peaceful, some have become violent and have shut down major thoroughfares and bridges.
“Some police stations have been targeted. Lagos State closed all schools indefinitely as of October 19, due to protests and implemented a 24-hour curfew starting at 4:00 p.m. on October 20. Consulate General Lagos is closed for the rest of today and tomorrow.”
In the statement, the US embassy advised all its citizens in Nigeria to avoid areas around protests and demonstrations, check local media for updates and traffic advisories, continue to be vigilant and avoid areas affected by the protests.
It also urged their citizens to take the following actions, avoid the areas of the demonstration(s), exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests, keep a low profile, be aware of their surroundings, monitor local media for updates and review the travel advisory for Nigeria.
Soldiers fire gunshots to disperse #EndSars protesters.
Soldiers have reportedly shot at #EndSARS protesters gathered at the Lekki toll gate.
Reports seen online indicate several protesters shot were been treated on the roadside by fellow protesters. Nairametrics cannot verify the authenticity of the videos.
In another gripping image that has perhaps captured the image of these protests, one of the protesters was seen covered in blood while the flag was used to reduce the bleeding apparently from an injury.
A curfew was imposed by the Lagos State Government earlier in the day starting from 4pm but was later moved to 9pm today. However, the protesters were defiant choosing to continue the protest until their demands are met.
Lekki VI toll gate !!! Wtf !! Country is finished pic.twitter.com/iWcZlTOpwf
— Davido (@davido) October 20, 2020
— ABDUL BAAQI (@Baaqs_) October 20, 2020
— bhello adhams (@bello_adams) October 20, 2020
The videos show protesters defiant as several rounds were being shot. The shooting came on the back of the protesters refusing to leave the Lekki toll gate after the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared a 24 hours curfew in the state from 4pm today.