Borno state government threatens to seize UN properties over tax evasion.

Chairman Borno state Internal Revenue Service Alhaji Mohammed Alkali at a media briefing in Maiduguri.

By Dauda Iliya

The Borno state government has issued thirty days notice of seizure of properties to seven United Nations agencies operating in Maiduguri. 

At a media briefing in Maiduguri, Chairman of the Internal Revenue Service Alhaji Mohammed Alkali said the notice was as a result of non compliance to provisions of Personnel Income Tax.

According to him, the UN agencies affected are World Health Organization, World Food Programme, UN Refugees Commission,  UNICEF, Food and Agriculture Organization, UNDP and UN OCHA.

Alhaji Alkali explained that the Service has made frantic effort for the UN agencies to provide raw data of their Nigerian staff as well as individual and enterprise contractors but to no avail. 

“Borno Internal Revenue Service is not oblivious of the convention exempting UN Agencies filling tax returns on behalf of their staff, individual and enterprise contractors from paying on behalf of their clients’ tax, but it is worthy to note that UN agencies are enjoined to respect and comply with local laws in states they operate” The Chairman stressed. 

The Chairman further said several letters of reminders and notification have been forwarded to the organisations and duly acknowledged, however are yet to comply.

Alhaji Mohammed Akali noted local staff working under UN organisations are expected to remit their Pay as You Earn PAYE and withholding Tax for individual and enterprise contractors. 

“BO-IRS is left with no option rather than to employ legitimate means to compel them to do so. In fact, we have already taken stap by serving the UN agencies herein before mentioned notice of seizure of properties which is due to lapse on 24th February, 2022”  Alkali said.

The Chairman wondered why other UN agencies like International Organization for Migration IOM and many International organisations have complied with the provisions of the tax law and the remaining seven organisations have not. 

 

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