By: Wisdom Acka
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has threatened serious sanctions against individuals, Corporate organizations and agencies violating its order that tax clearance certificates be presented before transactions within the Territory.
FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, who made this threat during a town hall meeting on demand and verification of tax clearance certificates by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),commercial banks and corporate bodies before transactions, decried that it incurred expenditure in the provision of infrastructure and essential services.
Represented by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusola Adesola, the Minister stated that residents have a lot to gain if taxes were paid regularly and rightly; adding that that Administration would commence immediate arrest and prosecution of tax evaders in the FCT.
His words: “I, therefore, use this opportunity to send a note of strong warning to tax evaders to desist from their actions. Not only are their actions morally wrong as they ride on the sweat of others but their actions are also serious criminal offences for which they can face very severe penalties on their conviction.”
“The FCTA has the mandate to build for our nation, a capital Territory that is comparable to the best in the world. And for over four decades, we have delivered on this mandate as Abuja has indeed turned out to be a very beautiful city indeed as testified to severally by visitors
to the city,” he said.
“It must, however, be admitted that if we are to continue to provide world class infrastructure for the city, we need a greatly improved revenue base, which can only be attained by a robust tax policy where all who call FCT home also contribute through taxes to her development”, he added.
He, thus, pledged to address issues of multiple taxation in the Territory.
“We are not unmindful of complaints about multiple taxation and other sundry challenges in our tax regime.
This matter is also of grave concern to us and we are taking measures to resolve the issue because it also impacts negatively on our efforts of encouraging investment in the Territory,” he stressed.
Acting Executive Chairman,FCT Inland Revenue Service, Haruna Abdullahi, in an earlier remark made it clear that the existing law provides that “failure to demand and verify a Tax Clearance Certificate presented by an individual is liable to sanctions and possible conviction with a fine of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) or three years imprisonment or both the fine and imprisonment.
“I would urge all residents and relevant stakeholders to choose voluntary compliance over compulsion. I would like to briefly reiterate; it is imperative that a Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) is demanded as a pre-condition for various transactions in the FCT and it is instructive to note that the law requires such from Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Commercial Banks”, he stressed.