The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Ilorin and District Society started-off its 2019 Annual Tax Week with a Public Lecture on Monday, 4th of November 2019. The lecture on the intricate topic, “Taxation & Development: A Siamese Twins or Triplet?” was delivered by a seasoned tax administrator, Prof. Muritala Awodun, former Executive Chairman of Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS). Other key participants at the lecture includes the President of CITN Ilorin and District Society, Mr Ayodimeji Olalekan, Barr. Lateef Okandeji, Director Legal and Enforcement, KW-IRS, Provost CITN Tax Academy, Mr Richard Olushola and Alhaji Nuhu Olaide Former Director, Corporate Directorate, KW-IRS
Awodun quoting Nicholas Kaldor, pointed out the fundamentality of taxation to development. He emphasised that development of a nation is achieved through public finances constituting majorly of taxes. He equally stressed that taxation and development are united by governance as the government has a major role to play in the appropriate utilisation of public funds.
On Tuesday 5th November was the debate session titled ‘Is the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) by the Federal Government justified?’ where some Tertiary institutions such as: Kwara State University (KWASU), University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Al-hikmah University, Kwara State Polytechnic were participants. The panel of judges for the debate were: Barrister Lukman Mustapha and Barrister Abubakar Abdulsalam. The winner of the debate was said to represent the North Central Zone during the National Tax debate organized by Chartered Institute of Taxation Nigeria (CITN) at the National Level. At the end of the debate, Al-hikmah University, emanated as the 2nd runner up, Kwara State University (KWASU), the 1st runner up and University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) emerged as the winner of the debate.
The day three scheduled programme started with the welcoming of the 14th CITN President, Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice and other executives of CITN in persons of Prof. M.T. Abdulrazaq FCTI, Adefisayo Awogbade, FCTI, Bar. Samuel Agbeluyi, FCTI, Mr. Adesina Adedayo, FCTI, Julius Aderemi Adimula, FCTI, AND Hon. Taiwo Abdullahi FCTI at the airport, by the Executive Chairman, KW-IRS, Mrs. Shade Omoniyi, KW-IRS staff amongst whom is Mr. Temi Kolawole, Head, Corporate Affairs and members of CITN Ilorin and District Society led by their Chairman Ayodimeji Olalekan Fatai. Places for the courtesy visit included KW-IRS, Corporate Head Office, Bureau of Lands, Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi and CITN Tax Academy located along Ajase-ipo Road.
At KW-IRS Corporate Head office, Mrs. Simplice applauded the Service for steadily rendering a smooth platform for cordiality between both bodies (CITN and KW-IRS) since inception and expressed her confidence in a better and promising future under the administration of the new Executive Chairman, Mrs. Shade Omoniyi. She further expressed her profound appreciation to the management of the Service for the sustained support with resources (human and material) towards the success of CITN programmes (MPTP, Annual Tax Conferences) held over the years. She urged KW-IRS staff to ensure they participate in all CITN Ilorin and District Society’s activities as it is a prerequisite for accessing some privileges from the Institute such as upgrading of members to fellowship and nomination to serve in committees of the Council. She also appealed to the Executive Chairman to help intercede on the request to the Kwara State Government with the provision of land facility for CITN preferably within town so as to impact on the attractiveness and marketability of the academy.
The President also informed the gathering that CITN’s forthcoming events include; the Institute’s 22nd Annual Tax Conference scheduled to hold from 14th to 17th April 2020 in Lagos State, themed ‘Taxation and Economic Competitiveness: Imperative for National Development’ and the Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony to be held on 23rd November 2019 urging KW-IRS members to ensure they attend the programmes respectively.
Mrs. Shade Omoniyi appreciated the CITN President and her entourage and promised to relay all CITN’s request to the Executive Governor of State in due course. She assured that KW-IRS will continue to partner with CITN in various forms in order to achieve good tax administrator across board.
As part of the scheduled progamme and also in soliciting for assistance for the development of Tax Academy in Kwara State, the president further visited Kwara State Bureau of Land in order to request for needed assistance in accordance to the law guiding land acquisition in Kwara State. She was received by the Deputy Director Bureau of Lands, Alhaji. AbdulRahman Wahab and other staff of the Bureau. Alhaji. Wahab assured the president of CITN that her request will be forwarded to the appropriate authority in due course.
Mrs. Simplice with her entourage proceeded to the Office of the Deputy Governor of the State, Mr. Kayode Alabi where she described her visit as homecoming and appreciated the State Government for providing structure for good tax administration. She stated her purpose of visitation to the Kwara State Government which is to appreciate what has been done for CITN with the provision of 3.08 hectares of land along Ilorin Ajase-Ipo Area, Amoyo, Kwara State and to further seek a re-allocation of another site for the CITN Tax Academy, preferably along the Ilorin Airport road and not less than the present size of the land they currently have.
In response, the Deputy Governor Mr. Kayode Alabi assured the CITN Boss that the State Government will critically look into the request and facilitate provision of the land using the appropriate medium within a reasonable time and respond back to CITN. Mr. Alabi thanked CITN Boss for the visit and wishes the Institute productive programmes that will improve taxation in Nigeria.
Another highlights of the third day event was the Mandatory Professional Training Programme (MPTP). The training featured three paper presentation sessions. The first facilitator, Pastor Benjamin Omonayajo while discussing the topic, “Ethical Issues in Tax Planning: Setting a Successful Tax Practice” accentuated the significance of upholding ethical standards in tax administration. He discussed at length various integral issues such as forms of tax planning, tax avoidance and tax evasion.
The second paper presented by Alhaji Ibrahim Salaudeen centred on the amendment of the approved list for collection of taxes and levies. He stated that the tax authority responsible for the collection of taxes and levies are the Federal, State and Local Government. The third presenter, Professor Godwin Oyedokun expounded on tapping into the untapped informal sector as a way of expanding revenue base in Nigeria. According to him, the tax – GDP ratio in Nigeria would not improve until the informal sector is subject to tax.
A highpoint of the training was the arrival and warm welcome of the CITN President, Mrs Olajumoke Simplice alongside other executives including Mr Adedayo Adeshina, Vice President; Mr Adefisayo Awogbade, Registrar; Prof. M.T. Abdulrasaq, the Provost of CITN Tax Academy as well as the KW-IRS team. The President, while noting the importance of an institute such as CITN, encouraged training attendees to participate actively in various highly instructive programmes available at CITN.
Mrs Shade Omoniyi, the Executive Chairman, KW-IRS, who together with her team received Mrs Simplice, remarked that the Service was excited to welcome CITN officials as it affords everyone the opportunity to discuss and address issues pertaining to the improvement of revenue generation in Kwara State. She also asserted that KW-IRS is actively involved in CITN noting that most staff of the Service were either executive members or student members of the institute. True to the Executive Chairman’s words, KW-IRS staff constituted a large percentage of training attendees.
The Annual Tax week in continuance was the tax walk on 7th November, 2019 within Ilorin. The purpose of the walk was to create more tax awareness, tax advocacy, sensitization and relationship building with taxpayers. Partakers of the walk includes Mr. Sunday Agbana, Head, Tax Assessment, KW-IRS, Mr. Rufai Kabir, Head, Accounts and Finance, KW-IRS, members of the CITN Ilorin and District Society, KW-IRS Staff and other tax professional.
The hikers who initially converged at the Ministry of Finance, GRA went by KW-IRS Corporate Head Office, where they were joined by some staff of the Service who are equally members of the Institute.
The awareness saw individuals on the street being educated about the importance of tax payment. This is to ensure that everyone in the State is well acquainted with the procedures and specifications of tax administration for the development of the State.
The walk extended from GRA through Post Office, Taiwo Isale, Unity Road, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Obbo Road, Challenge, and then back to the KW-IRS Corporate Head Office.