UK Protest!!! President Buhari Blows Hot, Orders EFCC To Partner With FIRS, To Arrest All Tax Evaders, Looters, Starting From… – See Details

By Joshua Amaugo April 12, 2018 15:22

UK Protest!!! President Buhari Blows Hot, Orders EFCC To Partner With FIRS, To Arrest All Tax Evaders, Looters, Starting From… – See Details

President Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to partner with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to fast-track the arrest of any individual, prosecute any organisation, who refuse to pay the right taxes.

Post-Nigeria gathered that the development is coming at a time when a group of Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom, UK, staged a protest against President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Abuja official residence of the President, in London.

Reacting to the development, a source in the Presidency said: “Extremely corrupt Nigerians who are custodians of slush funds stolen from Nigeria, and hiding in UK, or are resident cronies of such elements, have colluded to form a league of protesters with a singular aim of distracting and disorganising the scheduled state visit of the President to England for bilateral talks with Prime Minister, Theresa May, and other dignitaries.”

According to the statement, the partnership between the EFCC and the FIRS, would beam searchlights on defaulting taxpayers who also refused to embrace the Federal Government’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme to offset their tax liabilities.

The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, said Nigeria, just like other countries across the world, was looking inwards to lift the economy, and would not tolerate tax defaulters.

He said: “There are some issues of non-remittance of Withholding Tax, Value Added Tax, and Personal Income Tax. The EFCC has shown support before. When tax defaulters are invited to your office, we see results.

“I do not know how you do it, but we see results. Recently, two banks came forward to comply on their own. I think that they must have heard words. We want joint assistance with the EFCC to make sure that all tax defaulters get the lawful treatment.

“I want to let every taxable person in Nigeria, know that we are ready to deploy all powers at our disposal to ensure that every tax defaulter is punished according to the law.”

Reacting to Fowler’s statement, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said the Commission was ready to do more to bring culprits to book.

Amidst the partnership, President Buhari, on Wednesday, approved the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, to June 30, 2018.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the short extension after the original March 31 deadline expiration, was based on appeals by professional bodies and individual taxpayers.

Adesina quoted the President as saying that no further extension of time would be approved after June 30.

He said the new deadline was given based on the conviction of the Ministry of Finance, that the overall objective to increase compliance would be attained, and additional revenue would accrue to the government.

The Presidential Spokesman, noted that a fresh Executive Order would be made to give legal backing to the new timeline.

He quoted the President as saying: “For a nation of people, who are competitive and driven, it is not a pride that we are the lowest performer in tax to GDP, not just in Africa, but in the world. Nigeria’s growth needs are such that every Nigerian must do their duty to their nation, neighbour, and themselves.

“Hiding monies overseas, evading taxes by manipulation, and other unwholesome practices have never developed a country, and for Nigeria to attain her true potential, these must stop”, Buhari said.

The President, however, urged Nigerian companies and individuals to join the government in the rebuilding mission, “and do the right thing by taking this window of extension to regularise.”

He added that the right thing might not be convenient or comfortable, “but in the long run, we will all have a nation we can be proud of.”

The President speaking further, ordered tax authorities to use the extension window to perfect plans to prosecute those who failed to regularise their tax status.

Buhari had last year, launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and VAIDS, as a tax amnesty programme, as the first in the series of reforms that would transform the country’s tax system and provide sustainable and predictable funding for all tiers of government.

VAIDS is one of the key policies being used by the Federal Government to reposition the Nigerian economy and correct inherited underdevelopment.

The statement added: “Tax revenues will ensure that public infrastructure is provided and public services are funded to improve the lives of the people.

“Taxes redistribute wealth from those who have more to those who have less, and VAIDS is one of the windows to achieve such”, Buhari said.

Recall, that before the extension, VAIDS offered a grace period of nine months, from July 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, for tax defaulters to voluntarily pay back to the government what they owed.

In exchange for full and honest declaration, the government promised to waive penalties that should have been levied, and the interest that should have been paid on overdue taxes.

Also, those who declare their tax obligations honestly will not be subjected to any investigation or tax audit after the new grace period.


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