Mr Muhammad Nami, chairman of FIRS: requests for the self certification

By Abankula

The Buhari government came under heavy criticism on Thursday, following a notice, enjoining Nigerians with bank accounts to do “self certification”.

According to the notice, which came from Federal Inland Revenue Service ” 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 is required to complete & 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 self-certification form is in 3 categories:
– Form for Entity
– For Controlling Person (Individuals having controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc)
– Form for individual

“Failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account. For more enquiries visit
@firsNigeria website (http://firs.gov.ng) for more details.”

The notice triggered many angry reactions from Nigerians.

Many wondered why government, which already has their data in various forms, in BVN, National ID Card, Voters Card and Drivers Licence, wants to subject them to stress, by queueing for ‘self certification at banks”.

Here are some of the reactions:

One commenter tagged the WHO, drawing attention to the implication of conforming with the FIRS directive:

The person got a response~:

JJ Omojuwa: If there was something called “Bank Verification Number” that would have totally made this whole procedure unnecessary. But since BVN is alien to human civilisation, let’s do something that looks almost like it. To be frank, this is such an innovative and extraordinary government.

Taiwo Oyedele @taiwooyedele explains what the self-certification is all about:

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“In case you’re wondering what FG is saying, this is in connection with the commencement of automatic exchange of taxpayers information between Nigeria with other countries”.

“The information required is to enable reporting financial institutions determine the tax residency of their customers to know which countries to share your information with.

“In the case of corporate accounts, the exercise is required to determine the beneficial ownership and control also for reporting purposes.

“The FIRS has earlier shared communications with taxpayers regarding the commencement of exchange of information with other countries. The communication reads as follows:

“We are delighted to inform you that the AEOI-CRS (Automatic Exchange of Information – Common Reporting Standards) System Portal has gone Live!

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“All Reporting Financial Institutions are expected to file reports on or before 30th September 2020.”

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