To get international passports, Nigerians to show evidence of tax payment

Photo credit: today.ng
Photo credit: today.ng

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Monday said soon, Nigerians might begin to show evidence of tax payment before obtaining their passports.

Tunde Fowler said this at the 136th meeting of the Joint Tax Board which had the theme: “Increased Inter-Agency Co-operation to Enhance Tax Compliance and Optimise Revenue Collection” in Abuja.

“We did take a position and I believe it would be implemented in the very near future that before you get any services from the immigration department: renewal of passports etc, you’d have to show that you are a tax payer.

“These things are normal all over the world, In an effort to serve Nigerians and Nigeria better.

“People believe that payment of tax is a burden and I’ll repeat that you only pay tax on income and profits.

“So if you reside in Nigeria and you are benefiting from being a Nigerian resident, it is only fair that you contribute to the system that makes you enjoy that standard of living.”

He said the FIRS set a target to increase the individual taxpayer data base by 10 million by December 31.

“I’m glad with our co-operation; we’ve been able to attain 30 per cent of that. We’ve been able to get three million individual taxpayers across the nation.

“I’d like to congratulate Kano State for leading the pack by increasing the database by 944,000 followed by Lagos with 306,000 then Kaduna and Plateau,’’ he said.

The Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, lamented that the FRSC was being owed N700 million for number plates production.

He also decried the high rate of fake documentation at ports, saying “if we can strengthen inter-agency collaboration, we’ll get more results now that the focus is on IGR.”

The Chairman of the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue, Udochukwu Ogbonna, urged the revenue generating agencies to co-operate digitally to ensure success and curb corruption.

Also, the Chairman of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Oseni Elamah, said “the FIRS should have a digital one-stop-shop accessible to all partners’’.

Some revenue generating agencies on Monday met in Abuja to curtail loss, stop corruption and increase proceeds to government coffers in 2017.

The event brought together all states internal revenue service chairmen and the bosses of the Nigeria Customs Service, and the Nigeria Immigration Service.

(NAN)


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:Dr Dan,Suggest 5 Ways to Satisfy Your system and Last up 25Min In Bed When Having Sex, Click Here...


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • Omoba1

    Mr Fowler very good concept but many Nigerians are not benefiting anything from being Nigeria residents – no infrastructure, poor healthcare and lack of security.

    • Dejandon

      Until you need the polive then you will find out what you are enjiyijgbas a citizen. Even a bastard has his own daybwhen he will be called upon to checkmate the bastard from the other street

  • dike offor

    What about the VAT we been paying on goods? look deep in the huge amount we pay for Passport and the time wasted…is it not more than the tax you calling for? where in the world that an International Passport is so expensive compare to Nigeria? tell me would they be tax refund every year,as it is done in US,British and other part of the western work? and finally is there free soup in Nigeria?

  • Abdul

    Silly thinking, you will ask defendants to show tax clearance to obtain passoart. This govt should go and learn how to create wealth instead of all this childish thinking. Small thinkers, shameless elders who destroy Nigeria.

  • thusspokez

    The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Monday said soon, Nigerians might begin to show evidence of tax payment before obtaining their passports.

    This would be illegal. It must first go through the National Assembly to be passed into law. Obviously, the Executive Chairman of FIRS is an ignoramus!

    • Otile

      Your brother Imam Buhari is a disaster.

      • Rommel

        The worst of Buhari is still 500yrs ahead of Jonathan Goodluck whose adminsitration was a tragedy

        • Otile

          Said who?

  • thusspokez

    The FIRS Executive Chairman’s new requirement would disqualify students, the long-term unemployed, housewives or homemakers, as they are called in USA. Obviously this Chairman doesn’t think before speaking or before making policy — which is outside his power — on the fly.

    • persona

      “People believe that payment of tax is a burden and I’ll repeat that you only pay tax on income and profits.”—-Fowler
      The man made it clear that if no one is making income or profit, there is no tax to be paid. All the people you put in such categories will have to show they make no income or profit and deserve to pay no tax.
      Tax clearance simply means that you are clear not owing government. If you didn’t make any profit and no income, a tax document will indicate so.

      • thusspokez

        All the people you put in such categories will have to show they make no income or profit and deserve to pay no tax.

        How do one prove that one is unemployed and has no income? What papers or evidence does one provide?

        • persona

          Same way people in diaspora will prove they are non residents. If someone has tax clearance, he shows, if the person is a housewife, she will come with her husband or show his own tax clearance. For an unemployed graduate, he will show he is not employed. If the FIRS is saying they will begin such checks, it means they will integrate with the immigration service and with your name and details, if captured in the FIRS database, such is determined as either paying taxes or a tax evader. If not captured previously, its proof enough that such is not engaged as an employee and if such has registered a company, he should have secured a TIN(Tax Identification Number) after registering his company and could either be a tax payer or defaulter. Its not a perfect system but at the moment, the man made it clear, it will be implemented in the near future. We all could become better at demanding what other tax payers do abroad once we begin to pay taxes and have our bragging rights.

          • thusspokez

            Same way people in diaspora will prove they are non residents.

            What a very clever answer to the question: “How do one prove that one is unemployed and has no income?”

            if the person is a housewife, she will come with her husband or show his own tax clearance.

            What about if she is not married or divorced or her husband is unemployed too?

            For an unemployed graduate, he will show he is not employed.

            Are you, in effect, saying that in Nigeria, unemployed people are issued with papers to that effect — which they can show as proof of their unemployment status?

            If the FIRS is saying they will begin such checks, it means they will integrate with the immigration service and with your name and details..

            When you provide information to an organisation or institution, it is protected and used only for the purpose for which it was required. In many countries, it is against data processing laws to pass on your information to another organisation or in the case of government department, to another department without the national assembly granting such rights.

            Anyway, the initial argument and still is, is that neither the FIRS nor the immigration department can introduce this new requirement without the National Assembly granting them those powers. So any further debate here on the matter is a waste of time.

    • Dimka

      The man thinks Nigeria is Lagos State where he set up a system of robbing the citizens for Tinubu in the name of taxation

  • Watch man

    This is arrant nonsense. Mr Fowler, you guys should device some better innovative ways to generate income. You are collecting so much tax without the people seeing any value by way of infrastructure, facilities, etc. You should have mentioned the countries that have tax as a prerequisite for obtaining passport. What about those who have no work? So they won’t be entitled to passport? This is the most fo*lish innovation that has come from FIRS lately.

    • princegab

      They are bereaved of ideas. Until they are kidnapped they won’t know that there is desperation in town for survival.

    • persona

      “People believe that payment of tax is a burden and I’ll repeat that you only pay tax on income and profits.”—-FIRS Boss.
      If you do not make any income or profit, no tax to be paid. Do not stress yourself. The man also indicated, it may be adopted in the near future.

  • paul irumundomon

    To vote too, they have to show they pay their taxes, how about that. Howe many jobs has buhari created so far, with efcc and dss, running everyhwere like a lost snd mad dogs. If there is no job and many wants to run away, how can dey pay taxes when they can’t find a job. The unemployed can no longer get a Nigerian passport.

    Say this in the next elections, that every Nigerian must be working, in the companies created by apc and buhari, the few companies that were there, are closed because of the clueless economic programme by apc governmemt.

    • Rommel

      Are you among those or related to those that looted public resources? because it seems that those are the people the EFCC are after

  • arewethishopeless

    From someone of Mr Fowler’s calibre, this is the dumbest idea I have ever heard.
    There is the constitution and the right of free movement. If that is the case, why not do same for healthcare, road use, tertiary education, security, access to electricity and water …
    Please don’t waste your time on dreams. Nigerians want you to think out of the box, not out of your mind eh!

  • John Okolie

    “So if you reside in Nigeria and you are benefiting from being a Nigerian resident, it is only fair that you contribute to the system that makes you enjoy that standard of living.”

    Those benefits are:
    Payment of electricity bills for perpetual blackouts.
    Lack of clean, drinkable water.
    Lack of basic amenities.
    Roads that are death traps.
    Toll collection and harassment by law enforcement officials.
    Being healthy only to be murdered by doctors.
    Schools that only teach you how to be ignorant.
    Law makers who neither know the law, its requirements nor how to make it.
    A finance minister that doesn’t even know how much money the country is owing.
    A recessed economy with a government that is busy chasing it’s tail.
    Graduate unemployment in a country that has millions of analphabets.

    Hell, how do you benefit from being “a Nigerian resident?”
    Is it normal to pay taxes for untold suffering? Someone should please tell some people to shut up if they can’t think properly.

    • Rommel

      If you realize that the very same people whom you sing praises for and defend when they are arrested by the EFCC are the very people living large with with funds that were supposed to provide these amenities for you,should you realize this,then the problems of Nigeria are half solved.

  • Rommel

    “I’d like to congratulate Kano State for leading the pack by increasing the database by 944,000 followed by Lagos with 306,000 then Kaduna and Plateau,’ were this to be federal election results,people would accuse that Kano has rigged the polls,I’ll like to see the tax figures from states like Delta and Akwa Ibom that gave massive votes in the last election,Kano with a population of over nine million people gave APC 1.8 million votes while Delta with a population of four million gave the PDP 1.3 million votes yet it was claimed that APC rigged in Kano while that of Delta was viewed as genuine.

    • paul irumundomon

      They only showed video of children voting in kano, in a nomal society children are not supposed to vote. Nigerians don’t know the population of any state. Either we just get the figures, given them in the offices above, (you know what I mean), or there are some houses census staffs are not allowed to enter, what you are told is what will be on the papers, as census of that particular house. Don’t try to say something, different from what is on ground in Nigeria, faced with calamity of change today.

      • Rommel

        My argument is very simple and direct so should not confuse you, Kano is said to have increased its tax database by 944,000 which indicates a huge population of taxable adults, would you also suggest that they have registered children as taxable adults?

  • REVEREND JAMES

    +2348038615118..CUSTOM IMPOUNDED CARS FOR SALES AT CHEAPER PRICE AND NCS REPLACEMENT FORM IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR SALE, INTERESTED BUYERS SHOULD PLEASE. CONTACT OUR MARKETING ZONAL OFFICER (CUSTOM REV JAMES ON 08038615118

  • True Nigerian

    Another useless policy that will be litigated to shreds and dust particules. No modern constitutional democracy can deny people citizenship rights on the basis of tax avoidance. Tax avoidance is legal. Even tax evasion has never been used as a basis to deny the citizenship rights of a person born in any country. The worst you can do is to prosecute them for illegal tax avoidance.

    For citizens, the rights appertaining to citizenship are not conditioned on taxes. But some people simply can’t think. If you develop electricity, infrastructure, and technological capacity in the country, you can enforce taxation without making yourself look like an idi0t.

    Taxation is based on fairness. Nigerians have received brute unfairness fromn their country and its leaders. No amount of force will be enough to make people pay taxes to the country they rightly do not trust nor believe in.

    Nigerian government is not the victim of tax evasion. In contrast, Nigerians are the pitiable victims of mindless robbery by their own horrific governments and its appointees like Mr Fowler who wants the country to reap from where it did not sow. People are paying eye-watering amounts for electricty that they do not receive. People paid for subsidy that did not benefit them. Yet, those who stole from the subsidy are all still free men enjoying the fruits of their crimes. People are paying school fees for a standard of education that has lost meaning. People who paid their taxes in this country for decades have retired without receiving their pension even after more than 10 years of their retirement. Yet, no one is going after the mindless criminals who have stolen their pension funds.

    But suddenly, you will stop people from getting their passports unless they pay taxes. Pay taxes for what? Pay taxes for thieves to enjoy? What utter nonsense!

    Here is the truth, most Nigerians will pay their taxes when they see that their country is serious on corruption and development. With the level of corruption and stealing and nepotism in Nigeria, the country does not deserve anyone’s taxes. Nigeria is on the way to its end unless something changes immediately. Buhari’s slow and dumb nationalism will not be enough to rescue the country.

    • Lony

      Thanks for the educative piece. We need People who know what is right and wrong to make policies, not policy in the name of IGR generation. FRSC failed in 2014 on issue of abrupt, unconstitutional and unreasonable change of number plates to generate more money only to be embezzled by corrupt people. This is another way. They shall fail. If they want taxes they should do the needful.

  • folabi

    Does this chap understand his brief? Does he know the meaning of citenzenship? In what other country is it “normal” to show tax clearance before you get a passport? I doubt very much that Tunde Fowler is fit for this office at this time. When people run out of ideas they become obstacles to progress. I trust common sense will prevail. In Amy event he must not be allowed to waste meagre resources fighting a losing battle. If he cannot collect taxes he should not be allowed to indulge in a wasteful diversionary exercise!

  • Eniola

    Folabi and True Nigerian,

    …doesn’t LASG have something similar in practice?…ie we cannot do certain things in Lagos state without evidence of PAYE?…just asking!

  • Orphic

    Why stop at passport issuance, extend it also to voting card issuance!

  • dami

    “So if you reside in Nigeria and you are benefiting from being a Nigerian resident, it is only fair that you contribute to the system that makes you enjoy that standard of living.”

    Is this guy alright mentally?
    Benefiting what exactly?
    No light, no water, police extortion, no healthcare…murderous roads (of which we already pay a separate tax and in some cases a direct toll)

    Or is he also saying a full time house wife or student cannot get a passport…??

    Those who are enjoying nigeria are those who have access to billions to steal from government or borrow from banks and not pay back without repercussion – mr fowler should go and collect taxes from them first….or else stop this (his) lunacy

    • Otile

      He means – benefiting from Buhari recession.

      • dami

        Has nothing to do with Buhari’s recession or Jonathan’s forty theives.
        But rather the Inefficient practices and procedures of the Federal government.

  • NKANGWUNG UGBANA

    And I believe the same condition applies to the unemployed youths too, right…?