BREAKING NEWS: Why Wike orders public, private businesses in Abuja to stop offering services to residents without tax clearance

FCT Minister Nyesom Wike has directed all publicly and privately owned businesses in Abuja to henceforth demand the tax certificate clearance (TCC) of all Abuja residents before providing them with their services, a directive that implies persons without the document should not be eligible for any kind of service….CONTINUE READING HERE

“A department, agency or official of the FCTA, any Area Council official, any corporate body, statutory authority or person empowered in that regard by this Act or any other law shall demand a tax clearance certificate for the three (3) years immediately preceding the current year of assessment as a precondition to transacting any business, including but not limited to…” Mr Wike cited 31(5) of the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Act 2015 in a circular sent to commercial banks, ministries, departments and agencies on October 4.

Affected services include vehicle registration, application for trade licence, registration as a contractor, plot of land, allocation of stalls, application of business name from Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), application for building plans, etc.

Entities intending to apply for government contracts, gaming licences, or any government licence or permit must present their tax clearance certificates before accessing such services.

Violators of the directive will be fined N5 million, and officials of such agencies stand the risk of serving a three-year jail term.

“Any official of MDAS, SDAs officials of the FCTA, Area Council offices, any corporate body, statutory authority or commercial banks who violate and fail to comply with the provision, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to of M5,000,000.00 to imprisonment for three years or both fine and imprisonment as provided for by section 85 (9) of PITA, 2011 (as amended),” he stated.

As with a similar unenforced order prohibiting cattle grazing in the nation’s capital, it is unclear whether Mr Wike, whose FCT ministerial appointment has barely clocked three months, was merely blustering with the tax clearance being a mandatory requirement for all Abuja residents to access any service.

Despite the minister’s order banning cattle grazing in the capital city’s centre, herders and hundreds of cows have been seen taking a casual stroll along major city roads, including Bannex and Goodluck Jonathan Expressway, near the Central Bank of Nigeria and a few metres away from Aso Villa.

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