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Reps summon FIRS chair over tax clearance issued to P&G

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, to explain the…

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, to explain the alleged issuance of tax clearance certificate to Procter and Gamble (P&G) without payment of tax due to the government.

This followed a motion by a member of the committee, Zakari Dauda Nyampa at an investigative hearing held in Abuja.

The investigation was based on a query raised by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation on revenue remittances by the company between 2016 and 2018.

Nyampa said P&G had the turnover of P&G was N42bn, N41bn and N48bn respectively, but posted no profit.

“And FIRS went ahead to give them tax clearance, I want to move a motion that we invite FIRS to authenticate these certificates.”

The chairman of the committee, Wole Oke, said: “Tax payer could be issued tax clearance certificates on several bases; it could also be tentative tax clearance certificate may be there is a business to pursue and they need tax clearance urgently to do so, they can be obliged.

“But once the financial year has come to an end, all the filing oath to be done; my worry is that, even though we have other options of assessing tax payer even when your operation resulted in a loss, we have other options.

“We can look at turnover basis, we can look at net current assets and all that; I am shocked that those options were not applied and yet your tax assessment read zero.

“Those are the issues, we cannot shave FIRS in their absence, they need to come here and tell us their own side of the story why we have this kind of situation,” he said.

According to him, the committee need to look into the P&G import duty documents of equipment worth N6.4bn in 2017.

“If you look at the acceptance given to you dated March 6, 2017, your foreign content was N6.4bn for value of foreign content, machinery and equipment.”

Financial Director, P&G, Ogunbodele Emiola, informed the committee that the company paid education tax in the years in which profits were made.

“We’ve made significant investment, we’ve built a factory, the biggest and highest investment by any U.S. company in our industry in Nigeria and that was done during the period under assessment.”, she said.