FG Demands 10 Years Tax Liabilities From Ship Owner
…. Gives 3 Months Glance To Reconcile Accounts
Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, Zacchaeus Adedeji revealed that the Federal Government has issued demand notices to ship owners, requiring them to remit tax liabilities accumulated over the past 10 years.
Adedeji made this known while speaking with state house correspondents at the State House, Abuja on Monday.
He said the government’s action is in alignment with Nigeria’s tax laws and aims to ensure adherence to the country’s revenue regulations.
“There were demand notices, which were issued to the vessel or owner or charter as it were, which is in accordance with the Nigeria tax law that they should remit the tax deal to them for the last 10 years,” he said.
Adedeji acknowledged concerns about compliance timing and potential enforcement, but emphasized the government’s commitment to swiftly resolve the issue to avoid disruptions in the flow of goods both within and outside the country.
“We’ve now resolved within ourselves to resolve this issue as quickly as possible just to make sure that we don’t affect the flow of the products in and outside of the country.”
To address concerns about ship detentions or arrests, Adedeji said, “However, we will not detain or arrest any defaulting ships or vessels. So because this is what is causing panic, we’ve sent them demand notice and then they’ve also come and the agreement is that we should give them time.”
He further added, “We’ve agreed to set up the technical committee to resolve these issues… The technical committee will look at the concerns and reconcile the back taxes and set the process that will ensure compliance going forward.”
Adedeji highlighted that ship owners would be given a three-month grace period to come to a conclusion.
“So we’ve agreed to give the parties three months to come to the conclusion, and then within those three months, and then we will give also the grace period of six months where we will not enforce any of these laws just to allow for reconciliation of the debt,” he said.
“So in essence, no vessel or ship will be detained or delayed. So we give this six months break for them so that they can reconcile with this technical committee that we’ll set up.
“We have the law and the law must be respected and the law must be obeyed.”
“Nigeria, as you know, is open for business and we have business-friendly as you’ve seen from what we’re doing and what we will do. So we are open, but that’s not to say that anybody will take advantage of the country. We have the law and the law must be respected.”