FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Ac­count Re-Reg­is­tra­tion

Nigeria Communications Week - - Front Page - Fabain Tarpael, Abuja

FED­ERAL gov­ern­ment has apol­o­gised for ask­ing all ac­count hold­ers in fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in the coun­try to re-regis­ter their per­sonal de­tails.

Re­call that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment had last week 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 guidelin e 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.”

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