18th September, 2020
The Buhari government came under heavy criticism on Thursday, following a notice, enjoining Nigerians with bank accounts to do “self certification”.
According to the notice, which came from Federal Inland Revenue Service ” all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.
“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions is required to complete & submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.
“The self-certification form is in 3 categories:
– Form for Entity
– For Controlling Person (Individuals having controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc)
– Form for individual
“Failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account. For more enquiries visit
@firsNigeria website (http://firs.gov.ng) for more details.”
The notice triggered many angry reactions from Nigerians.
Many wondered why government, which already has their data in various forms, in BVN, National ID Card, Voters Card and Drivers Licence, wants to subject them to stress, by queueing for ‘self certification at banks”.
Here are some of the reactions:
What was all the stress for BVN, if you can't connect needed information from BVN?
Duplicity is a sign of ineptitude, inefficiency, wastage(time and funds). Please fold shop, if you want to take us on merry-go-round again.#Enough of duplicity and wastage
— Helen Francis (@HellenaFr72) September 17, 2020
This is to avoid stories like "the account is not mine or someone opened it on my behalf earing my name". By filling it, it can be used in court based on the person owns declaration. It's just like an asset declaration. You declare it and later it will be check and reconcile.
— Auwal Musa (@auwal_musam) September 17, 2020
Shey na fight? Sometimes you honestly can't help but agree with those who say this gov't don't have mercy & consideration for the poor, how much i dey get that you're threatening me with sanction over tax i'm already paying thru my nose for corrupt officials to embezzle..
— محمد راجي بن عبدالله المويى (@MallamRaji) September 17, 2020
What stops banks from sending their customers links through their mails or mobile number to complete the forms? This is Nigeria, everything must reflect the brutish and nasty life the govt subjects the people to.
— Ikechukwu (@egwunte) September 17, 2020
One commenter tagged the WHO, drawing attention to the implication of conforming with the FIRS directive:
Hello you have to see this, @WHO
See what the Nigeria government is doing, asking all bank account holders to go fill forms manually in the banks, when there is already a Bank Verification System in place!!! And this, in a PANDEMIC!!!!!!!
IS @NGRPresident AWARE???
— The plague (@dinoofog) September 17, 2020
The person got a response~:
You've not been told to go and queue anywhere. It's left for the Banks to device ways of doing it. Such forms could be made available online.
— Olaide Kayode E. (@emmakyng) September 17, 2020
You people are clueless and very insensitive.
We should go crowd up the banks in this Covid era.
It's like the masses are too tolerant and peaceful for you, so you just keep pushing us here and there.
When you push the masses to the wall, be ready for what comes.
— BEREMI (@Adebayor86) September 17, 2020
It seems to me as if these people have lost the initial data we gave them , and indirectly asking us to repeat the whole process again
National ID | BVN https://t.co/eObXSfKMce
— Your BFF (@Banks039) September 17, 2020
JJ Omojuwa: If there was something called “Bank Verification Number” that would have totally made this whole procedure unnecessary. But since BVN is alien to human civilisation, let’s do something that looks almost like it. To be frank, this is such an innovative and extraordinary government.
Na you do National ID card, na you do SIM registration, you even did Bank Verification Number to align accounts but you are here again talking “Self-Certification. Even if you are confused about running government, can you at least pretend not to be confused?
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) September 17, 2020
Do they even understand the number of years wasted in working hours when they set up these things? Like, does anyone even bother about Nigeria’s productivity when they raise these ISLAGIATT Ideas that repeatedly send Nigerians spending their lives queuing for the same things?
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) September 17, 2020
Taiwo Oyedele @taiwooyedele explains what the self-certification is all about:
“In case you’re wondering what FG is saying, this is in connection with the commencement of automatic exchange of taxpayers information between Nigeria with other countries”.
“The information required is to enable reporting financial institutions determine the tax residency of their customers to know which countries to share your information with.
“In the case of corporate accounts, the exercise is required to determine the beneficial ownership and control also for reporting purposes.
“The FIRS has earlier shared communications with taxpayers regarding the commencement of exchange of information with other countries. The communication reads as follows:
“We are delighted to inform you that the AEOI-CRS (Automatic Exchange of Information – Common Reporting Standards) System Portal has gone Live!
“All Reporting Financial Institutions are expected to file reports on or before 30th September 2020.”