The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has commended the European Union (EU) for the remittance of Pay-As-You-Earn PAYE of its local staff since 2012.
Okonjo-Iweala made the commendation in Abuja today at a one-day sensitization workshop for Local Staff of Embassies on PAYE, Withholding Tax (WHT), Value Added Tax (VAT) on Contracts, and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
The workshop is to facilitate partnership and collaboration between FIRS and Foreign Missions, International Organisations to deduct and remit their local staff, Pay-As-You-Earn to relevant tax authorities.
Represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Kefas Danladi, the minister said the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)’ efforts to grow the nation’s revenue base remain a step in the right direction, most especially, in the face of the dwindling oil income.
Okonjo-lweala noted that everybody wants development, but nobody wants to pay tax that fuels development,stressing that the importance of taxation cannot be over emphasised, especially in the wake of dwindling income from oil revenue.
The minister urged the Service to ensure administrative mechanisms for easy access to TIN that would in turn fast-track clearance of goods at the nation’s sea-ports as well as issuance of Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) to deserving taxpayers.
That diplomats and Ambassadors are exempted from payment of taxes by Article 23 of the Vienna Convention though such exemption does not cover their local staff, local contractors and vendors.