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31 Mar 2018

VAIDS: President under pressure to extend deadline as amnesty ends today

As the tax amnesty under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) ends on Saturday, some private sector players are said to be lobbying President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the amnesty period.
An official at the Presidency, who craved for anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that governors and company owners had called the President and Vice President to push for the extension of the programme.

“We are expecting Mr President to make an announcement on the tax amnesty deadline by this weekend.

“To be frank and honest, nobody knows whether the President will decide to extend it or not, but there has been calls by state governors and key private sector players calling for the extension.

“However, it still remains unclear if the President will take the recommendation to extend it by another three months, since he had been advised otherwise by the Minister of Finance and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) chairman,’’ the source said.

Meanwhile, the Adamawa state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Mahmoud Yunusa, told NAN that many of the states were in support of extending the tax amnesty past the March 31 deadline.

“It should be extended because people are just beginning to buy into the programme. We see people coming up willingly to declare their assets and it shouldn’t end soon.

“Nigerians deserve more time and I believe that some of them are still collating their assets to know their worth before doing so.

“Also, some haven’t declared because they operate businesses without any formal documentation, so it will take time before they get their books in order.

“So it’s my opinion that extending it for another six months would ensure better success,’’ he said.

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