Contrary to the impression created by some of the ministers serving under the current administration as men of impeccable character, there are indications that a number of them may not be completely free of blemish after all, especially with regards to their civic responsibilities in the area of taxes.
Ripples can authoritatively report that the tax profile of some of the ministers save for a few are less than impressive.
The devil is in the detail
Ripples investigation revealed that the annual tax paid by one of the Ministers in charge of telcos when he appeared before the Senate for clearance last year was a paltry N5, 000.
When confronted with this fact at the weekend, the minister, who had held various appointments in Oyo state and the federal level before contesting for governorship in 2011, declared almost rather unsurely that his tax payment must have been up to N25, 000.
“N5, 000? I think I must have paid up to N25, 000 tax” he said noncommittally when asked to clarify whether it is true that all the taxes he paid just before the Senate screening was N5,000.
In documents presented to the Senate and security agencies by the Minister himself shortly before the pre-appointment screening exercise last year, he had an Oyo State Government Revenue receipt with number 4014086367 as evidence of tax payment.
The receipt showed that he paid N5,000 at a commercial bank in Agodi, Ibadan on 27th March, 2014.
The tax profiles of the minister in charge of external affairs is also not so impressive, as his Income Tax Clearance Certificate issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on December 31st 2015 indicates that he earned N59, 754, 551 and paid N50, 000 tax in 2014.
The wellness minister’s tax clearance certificate obtained from the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue indicates that for 2012, 2013 and 2014, the Minister earned a total of N473, 750, N1, 158, 334 and N1, 166, 666 respectively while his taxes for the corresponding years were N72,000, N73, 000 and N74, 000.
The records of the current minister, whose office is in charge of dispensing justice shows a Kano State Board of Internal Revenue Tax certificate dated 31st December, 2014, indicating also that in 2011, 2012 and 2013, he earned N296, 250, N840, 909 and N1, 050, 000 respectively, out of which he paid N40, 000 annually in 2011 and 2012 while he paid N60, 000 tax in 2013.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, would easily rank as one of Nigeria’s top income tax payers as an official document from Exxon Mobil detailing his tax remittance for 2012, 2013 and 2014 shows.
On incomes of N93.1 million, N137. 3 million and N105. 7 million, Kachikwu, who was Vice chairman/Executive Director before retiring on August 4, 2015, paid taxes of N14. 5 million, N22. 3 million and N15. 9 million.
Like Kachikwu, equally impressive are the tax records of all the women in Buhari’s cabinet as they all paid their taxes promptly unlike many of their male counterparts who rushed to get tax clearance certificates on the same date – December 31, 2014.
Except for the Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, who worked and paid her tax abroad, all the female ministers in Buhari’s administration have impeccable and timely tax records in Nigeria prior to assumption of duty as ministers.
Among the tax compliant women ministers is the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar. She had an FIRS tax clearance indicating that on incomes of N3, 429, 880, N3, 622, 100 and N4,415, 624 received in 2012, 2013 and 2014, she paid N420, 654, N420, 000 and N552, 279 as annual taxes respectively.
Her counterpart, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, who was the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), had an FIRS tax clearance in which she declared earnings of N24. 2million, N22. 2 million and N34. 6 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively while she paid N2. 6 million, N2. 4 million and N2. 6 million as annual taxes during the corresponding period.
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