Tunde Fowler, executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says very soon, Nigerians may need to show evidence of tax payment before obtaining their international passports.
He said this in Abuja during 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’.
“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,” Fowler said.
“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 that 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,” he said.
“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.”
Boboye Oyeyemi, the corps marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), 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”.