Nigerians will soon be required to show evidence of tax payment before obtaining their passports.
Tunde Fowler, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), revealed the new plan at the 136th meeting of the Joint Tax Board in Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
Any Nigerian who either wants to apply for a new passport or renew an old one will have to show evidence of being a tax payer, Mr Fowler said.
“We did take a position and I believe it would be implemented in the very near future that before you get any services from the immigration department: renewal of passports etc, you’d have to show that you are a tax payer,” Mr Fowler said. “These things are normal all over the world and it would help us to serve Nigerians and Nigeria better.”
He added: “People believe that payment of tax is a burden and I’ll repeat that you only pay tax on income and profits. So, if you reside in Nigeria and you are benefiting from being a Nigerian resident, it is only fair that you contribute to the system that makes you enjoy that standard of living.’’
Following complaints from Nigerians, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS) Muhammad Babandede has revealed that the validity period of international passport will be extended to 10 years.