By Ayodele Oluwafemi, Emmanuel Adigwe and Ella Makondo
Amidst outpouring of condemnations the Federal Government on Friday morning reversed its directive to account holders to reregister their personal information with all banks in the country.
The government said the directive was in error and was directed to specific account holders known as “accountable” persons and not to all account holders. The government then apologized over the directive.
The reversal of the directive had been preceded by an outpouring of condemnations by Nigerians from across all sectors with the claim that the directive was unnecessary given the earlier Bank Verification Numbers, BVN obtained by all bank customers.
The Federal Government had on Thursday through a series of tweets asked all account holders to register their information at every bank where they maintained accounts.
Apologizing on Friday, the Federal Government tweeted, “We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the @firsNigeria Notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly.”
We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the @firsNigeria Notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly pic.twitter.com/KBiPh0lCwJ
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 18, 2020
The Federal Inland Revenue Service from where the order was said to have originated further explained the issue in a statement.
“This is to clarify the publication for financial institutions account holders in Nigeria to complete the self-certification form, pursuant to the Income Tax (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2019 which is for the fulfilment of Automatic Exchange of Information Requirements.
The Self Certification form is basically to be administered on Reportable persons holding accounts in Financial institutions that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.
“Reportable persons are often non-residents. And other persons who have a residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or Country.
“Financial Institutions are expected to administer the Self Certification form on such account holders when the information at its disposal indicates that the Account holder is a person resident for tax purpose in more than one jurisdiction.
“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during the account opening processes for the KYC and AML purpose.”
Before then, the social media was filled with an outpouring of outrage from Nigerians.
The Godfather JP@AyoOyalowo wrote: “BVN. National Driver’s license. National ID card. INEC registration. International Passport. Biometrics were taken in all these places. Why do you people like to see us suffer in queues for no reason? Can’t you take whatever data you need already? This is just so wrong.”
Dr. Dípò Awójídé@OgbeniDipo wrote: “Small time they will ask us to go and bring the left finger of our dead grand mothers. Because after BVN, Drivers Licence, International Passport, Birth Certificate, SIM registration, National ID card, I don’t know what else they want.”
Wale Adetona@iSlimfit wrote: “Forward-thinking Nations are building digital solutions to solve various problems. But in 2020, our own government still wants us to go queue under the sun to fill and submit “self a certification” forms despite National ID, BVN, Voters Card etc. Suffer no dey taya you????”
Rayo Kasali – The Aether@RayoKasali wrote: “Which one is Self-Certification form again?! Are you telling us that National ID card, BVN, drivers license, NIMc, etc. are not enough to certify us? Who comes up with these ideas sef?!”
NEFERTITI@firstladyship wrote: “Under one government: 1. BVN 2. NIN National ID 3. Driver’s license 4. SIM registration 5. Self-certification form All biometrics. Make no mistake, this self-certification form is another affidavit idea at FEC meeting They can’t govern, yet they tax everything #EnoughIsEnough.”
Ọ́ptimûsPrimë@m_keji wrote: “Let me check where to punish these Nigerians for their protests. Eh! Let them go and re-register for National ID in banks. They’ll forget protests on the queues.”
HEARTBREAKVETERAN @Patternic wrote: “Haah! Self certification after national ID, BVN and others alike… Ani Your President is clueless se.
Yakuza of Ibadan @UncleAbiodun wrote:”So BVN, Drivers Licence, International Passport, Birth Certificate, SIM registration, National ID card, Voter cards is not enough for Verification? Kuku tell us to bring our forefathers foot prints cos this una change to Next Level don tire me abeg!”
STEADY@handlerofdodo wrote: “You said Sim registration we did, you said BVN we did, you said National ID card (NIN)…now it’s Self certification It’s like you people want to be unfortunate in life.”