Having sent Nigerians into a dilemma, who asked why they need to be ‘self-certified’ after all the other measures taken for data collection, the Federal Government has apologised for the misleading tweets (now deleted) it posted concerning the completion of the self-certification forms.
It started Thursday, September 17, 2020, when Nigerians were going about the hardship the government has already put everyone in, when the FG issued a notice on its Twitter page in a series of tweets, ordering all account holders across financial institutions in Nigeria to fill and submit Self-certification forms in line with the income tax regulation 2019; with a warning that failure to comply will attract sanctions which may include monetary penalty or the inability to operate one’s account.
The Thursday notice reads: “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.”
According to FG, the self-certification form falls under 3 categories:
– Form for Entity
– For Controlling Person (Individuals having controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc)
– Form for individual
After hours of outcry that the exercise is counter-productive, unnecessary and will further enable the spread of an already disappearing COVID-19, they tendered an apology: “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
On a closer look, one can easily spot the similarities between FG’s supposed miscommunication on Thursday and the corrected notice on Friday because both notices are basically communicating the same message. The only difference is that the update states that the self-certification exercise does not apply to everybody.
What exactly is FIRS trying to achieve? The much we know about the exercise is that the primary objective is to improve transparency in Nigeria’s tax system and boost the anti-corruption drive of the Government as stated in the notice.
Here’s how Nigerians are reacting to the new development:
First off, banks can actually pull this off for clients. Secondly, this is 2020 and you expect people to goto their banks and get forms to fill 😂 🤡. What happened to them creating an online portal where people can do at their convenience. Everything backward
— HIM. Mr. Ola 🦧- 🦍- (OG) (@ulsherlan) September 17, 2020
in one sentence, FG eyes they red and they need to widen the tax net. How is this different from BVN that has fulfilled all the KYC for financial institutions?
— Bamikole Omishore (Banks) (@MrBanksOmishore) September 17, 2020
Hello you have to see this, @WHO
See what the Nigeria government is doing, asking all bank account holders to go fill forms manually in the banks, when there is already a Bank Verification System in place!!! And this, in a PANDEMIC!!!!!!!
IS @NGRPresident AWARE???
— Dem 🇳🇬 (@CrowdedLagos) September 17, 2020
What was all the stress for BVN, if you can't connect needed information from BVN?
Duplicity is a sign of ineptitude, inefficiency, wastage(time and funds). Please fold shop, if you want to take us on merry-go-round again.#Enough of duplicity and wastage
— Helen Francis (@HellenaFr72) September 17, 2020
This is to avoid stories like "the account is not mine or someone opened it on my behalf earing my name". By filling it, it can be used in court based on the person owns declaration. It's just like an asset declaration. You declare it and later it will be check and reconcile.
— Auwal Musa (@auwal_musam) September 17, 2020
Oga I think you didn't register properly, coz if you do, you will understands better before writing this nonsense. Your fingers, and facial capture is attached to that bvn bro. I knew better when I registered for NIN with my bvn.
— seηισя of Ibadan™ (@2legit2sleep) September 17, 2020
You are looking at a very small interesting angle but its beyond that. Till date we have accounts that have no BVN because the owners has questions to answer. Last week the CBN freezes some accounts of certain companies, a man was arrested with lots of ATM heading to dubai
— Auwal Musa (@auwal_musam) September 17, 2020
Bro, this isn't enough reason to make people do another round of verification. If this is how things are done, the UK (where you are according to your location) would require citizens to do this every year.
— There is rice in Kano (@Seun_beta) September 17, 2020
this is pointless; you literally can't open an account without bvn and some kind of identification. there is NO excuse or merit for this.
— 🌒ᚨᛃᛟ🌘 (@AyotundeAyoko) September 18, 2020