President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme to June 30, 2018.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the short extension after the original March 31 deadline expired was based on appeals by professional bodies and individual taxpayers.
Adesina quoted the President as saying that no further extension of time would be approved after June 30.
He further quoted Buhari as explaining that the new deadline was given based on the conviction of the Ministry of Finance that the overall objective to increase compliance would be attained and additional revenue would accrue to the government.
The presidential spokesman indicated that a fresh Executive Order would be made to give legal backing to the new timeline.
He quoted the President as saying, “For a nation of people, who are competitive and driven, it is not a pride that we are the lowest performer in tax to GDP, not just in Africa, but in the world. Nigeria’s growth needs are such that every Nigerian must do their duty to their nation, neighbour and themselves.
“Hiding monies overseas, evading taxes by manipulation, and other unwholesome practices have never developed a country, and for Nigeria to attain her true potential, these must stop.”
Buhari urged Nigerian companies and individuals to join the government in the rebuilding mission “and do the right thing by taking this window of extension to regularise.”
He added that the right thing might not be convenient or comfortable, “but in the long run, we will all have a nation we can be proud of.”
The President further urged tax authorities to use the extension window to perfect plans to prosecute those who failed to regularise their tax status.
VAIDS is one of the key policies being used by the Federal Government to reposition the Nigerian economy and correct inherited underdevelopment.