Story: Ajibade Morakinyo Photo: Segun Lawal
“Taxation is a tool of relationship between the state and taxpayer (society), which must be cordial for voluntary compliance from the taxpayer through relevant amenities, for the society not to think the state is robbing its purse”
The remark was made during the 8th Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series themed “Tax Education, National Development and the Seminal Role of the Media” on Wednesday July 13, 2016, by one of the Event’s Speakers and CEO of Cable Newspaper Limited, Simon Kolawole. He stated that the continuous production in the oil sector has made the Federal Government to declare public holiday as they wish.
“If the FG is generating its major income on tax, they would feel the lost and weight on its income if the taxpayer refuses to pay tax,” he added.
The coordinator of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), Mrs. Motunrayo Alaka, who hosted the Media Lecture Series posed the question in a statement thus: “With Nigeria’s current economic challenged, exacerbated by fallen oil prices, the government is seeking to enforce tax payment as a sure means of raising funds to support development. The Federal Inland Revenue Service is demanding compliance by shutting down companies for tax avoidance and issuing ultimatums, among other activities. Truly, every country worth its salt has made it so, partly because of a functional tax regime and Nigeria has all it takes to be on the list of developed countries. To pay or not to pay tax?
This question was brain stormed on by stakeholders from the media, advisory service, chartered accountant, tax and regulatory services, political science, strategic tax planning, tax administration etc.
Also, the event’s Lead Speaker and first female President Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Mrs. Adebimpe Balogun, buttressed on the how to diminish the harassment of tax officials on the taxpayer saying, “as long as we obey they tax laws and officials, they can’t shut down your companies”.
A tax planner and speaker, Emuesiri Agbeyi, stated that every tax payer has the right to ask from the government at federal or state level about how his or her tax is being spent.
In conclusion, an audience, whose name was unable to reach the report as at time this report was filed in, when making necessary contribution said “The fact that FG is collecting tax doesn’t make them the King, but those who were out as early as 5am to work, and been disturbed by the Tax collector are the Kings, for providing the government’s income and source to provide social amenities”