The Federal Government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.
The Federal Government had on Thursday ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.
The notice issued by the government to that effect read, “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 and 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.”
The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.
Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guideline was not for all Nigerians.
The government attributed the development to misinformation.
The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, “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 notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”
Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.
Parts of the FIRS statement read, “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 residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”
“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 account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”