Nigerians have been charged to give support to the new tax administration drive as potential tool in reviving the nation’s economy.
The Director, Tax Policy and Advisory, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Peter Ademola Olayemi gave the admonition at the Investiture and Inauguration of new executives of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Osogbo District Osogbo, Osun State Capital.
Olayemi who was represented at the occasion by Mr. J A Asaolu maintained that the nation has arrived a stage to boost her revenue base through taxation in order to meet up with its statutory obligations.
He said if the country does not want to resort to borrowing, thus all hands must be on deck to expand its income capacity as taxation remains the best way to go.
Olayemi who delivered the investiture lecture titled: “Advocacy As A Tool For Revenue Generation and The Role Of Taxation In Economic Recession”, however explained that tax cuts may not be the popular choice in Nigeria.
He said tax amnesty and some other administrative changes as well as tax incentives already provided in the tax laws are steps in the right direction.
According to him, “the best option at the moment without resorting to borrowing in stimulating and engineering economic growth and development at this special economic period is through taxation.
“In Nigeria, the tax amnesty facilitates increased tax revenue generation while leaving taxpayers with more funds to spend on consumption of goods and investment in productive capital goods.
“It is therefore apparent that taxation has an enormous potential to improve a country’s economic realities especially in the face of economic recession. Taxation should be a vital tool in the arsenal of policymakers in the drive to turn around the economy.
Speaking at the event, Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola however tasked CITN to complement government efforts towards achieving effective taxation.
He urged the agency to do its best in supporting the state to upsurge her revenue base.
Governor Aregbesola charged CITN to be the vanguard of public enlightenment in enhancing the voluntary compliance by taxpayers.
Aregbesola who was represented by the Chairman, State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Dayo Oyebanji directed the state revenue service to provide enabling environment for the institute to practice their profession unhindered in the state.
He added, “we need the unwavering assistance of the institute as a whole in the advocacy drive towards incremental revenue which is the only saviour at this critical time of economic recession”.
While inaugurating the new executives, the National President of CITN, Dr. (Mrs.) Teju Abiola Somorin counselled the new officers to brace up and prepare for the task ahead by undertaking definite strategic vision for the institute and set up machinery in motion immediately for the achievement of the vision.
She pledged the support of the national secretariat of the institute urging the new officers to keep the flag flying.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected chairman of Osogbo District of the Institute, Pastor Samuel Kayode Adekunle explained that the institute is not tax collectors or revenue collecting agent of the government but to serve as mediator between the government and the general public as experts in the area of taxation.
“Our mission is to serve as an institute that will be a citadel for advancement of taxation in all ramifications. While we enlighten the public on the need to pay tax, we equally monitor the tax system to ensure that the tax payers are not overburdened.
Adekunle promised that the institute will extend its enlightenment to children in secondary schools and tertiary institutions, the market women and the religious organisations reminding everyone on the need to fulfill their civic responsibilities.
According to him, “many people only focus on tax revenue from the formal sector of the economy such as PAYE; however, efforts of the institute officers will be focused on the informal sector of the state of Osun economy which has been neglected over years.
“Aggressive propaganda and enlightenment will be centred on this sector to compete favourably with the formal sectors in an attempt to gear up the revenue base of the state”, he declared.
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