By Michael Olugbode
The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has said henceforth no resident permit would be renewed in Nigeria without the proof of tax payment.
Babandede said the NIS was working with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to ensure that all foreigners, no matter the length of their contract, as long as they earn salary, must pay tax.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, Babandede said the era of some foreigners invading taxation in Nigeria even as they collect big pay package, was over.
He said: “Now the renewal of resident permit is with evidence of payment of tax. Whoever works in Nigeria and collect salary must pay tax.”
He added that technology put in place would make it impossible for anyone to earn, especially foreigners, without paying tax.
Babandede said no one can escape anymore, lamenting that the issue of fake marriages between foreigners and Nigerians ladies carried out to evade payment for resident permit has been on the increase since 2020.
He disclosed that a Chinese and some Egyptians have been already with fake marriage certificates, noting that the cases are thoroughly being investigated by a department in the NIS which specialises in such matters.
Babandede warned Nigerians to desist from entering into ‘contract marriage’, as it is illegal and a means of denying the government revenue by some criminal minded foreigners.
The Comptroller General said the NIS was worried that many Nigerians in diaspora, who have made payment for international passports, have not yet be captured due to closure of some missions in some countries.
He said it is sad that in United Kingdom alone, over 20,000 Nigerians are affected because of the closure of Nigerian High Commission in the country.
Babandede said the domestication of the Nigerian passport was already concluded, and would soon commenced, insisting that at present, no contract for the production of Nigerian passport was given to a Malaysia firm as wrongly reported, just as he noted that it was given to a Nigerian company that may however have foreign partners.