The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has urged Nigerians living in diaspora to invest at home, assuring them that Nigeria has adequate tax laws to protect their investments in Nigeria.
The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler made this remark yesterday in Abuja when he received the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who was on a courtesy visit.
Fowler said every Nigerian, irrespective of country of residence, should be concerned about what to do to contribute to the economic recovery of the Nigeria. He said that bringing investments into the country and tax compliance are measures Nigerians should adopt. He also allayed fears of double taxation on investments, explaining that the law gives room for tax holidays and exemptions for new investments.
He said: “We want to inform you that Nigeria has tax laws which protect your investments. We have signed tax treaties with various countries on double taxation and we can assure you that if you are paying your taxes on their companies abroad, you do not have to pay double taxation.
“When it comes to the issue of taxation, we are willing to guide Nigerians living in diaspora and show them what to do. They are our brothers and sisters and we need them to come and contribute their monies here to develop our country”.
Fowler said that about 99 percent of Nigerians living abroad are tax compliant in the countries where they reside and urged them to also comply with Nigeria’s tax laws when they return to invest in the country.
“We are in the times when we have to ask ourselves vital questions; what are we going to do for the country? One of them is to invest in the country. There must be increase in investment, increase in spending and increase in tax revenue if we must get out of recession”, Fowler said.
Earlier, Dabiri-Erewa said that some Nigerians living abroad want to invest at home and sought to know if there are laws that could protect them.
She said that Nigeria received $35 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2016 and hopes that with the assurances of adequate tax laws to promote their investment in the country, the figure will increase in 2017.
“President Muhammed Buhari set up this office not too long ago to ensure the welfare of Nigerians living abroad so that Nigerians both at home and abroad can work together to make Nigeria a great country; so that, wherever you are, you can contribute to the development of the country. Nigerians are excelling everywhere they are and they want to know if there are tax incentives for some of them who want to invest in Nigeria especially in the area of Agriculture”, Erewa said.
H/Communications and Servicom Department