Uche Usim, Abuja
Barely 24 hours after it mandated depositors to carry out fresh bank registration and record update, the Federal Inland Revenue Service on Friday made a U-turn on the directive, saying that the new development only applies to those paying taxes in more than one country.
The Service came under scathing criticism from the public on Thursday over its notice to banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, where it directed customers to obtain, complete and submit self – certification forms to their respective financial institutions.
By the notice, financial institutions were to begin the process of registering their customers to pave way for due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.
The angry public flooded the social media to lampoon the FIRS, insisting that the directive was totally in conflict with the Bank Verification Number policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
They queried the rationale behind the government’s directive despite several biometric modes of identification in the country including the National Identity Card and the BVN.
They also said that the directive would increase the current burden on bank customers as many of them are still experiencing delays in carrying out bank transactions due to the physical distancing policy of the government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Many also expressed fear that the new directive might provide an avenue for the banks to hammer the depositors with excessive charges as the cost of the registration would likely be transferred to them.
Sifting through the cyber attacks, the FIRS on Friday apologised for the earlier notice issued on Thursday. It said, “We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by reportable persons.”