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No nation can survive without taxes, says NECA



Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Timothy Olawale, has emphasised the importance of taxes to nation building.

Speaking during the 42nd Induction for members  Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) in Lagos at the weekend, he said: “It is a fact that no society can survive without the payment of taxes, even though, human beings would not, naturally, want to pay their taxes. However, it is not illegal to pay taxes. We urge that taxes should be on “what is owed” or due and not for the tax authorities to collect more than is legal. The responsibility to determine taxes due lies with tax practitioners and it is a function of knowledge, hence your training in the Institute. This also places a responsibility on the institute on continuous training as new taxes emerge or are replaced by government.

“It is trite that taxation is an important strategy by government in promoting economic growth and development of a nation. However, the economy of Nigeria has continued to lose huge amount of revenue through the unwholesome practice of tax avoidance and tax evasion. It is on the backdrop of these challenges that the government should examine the effect of taxation on economic growth in Nigeria.

“Specifically, the impact of Value Added Tax on economic growth in Nigeria as well as examine the effect of Petroleum Profit Tax on economic growth in Nigeria. It is not just in the collection of taxes but it’s utilisation to the benefit of the citizens and the nation at large. It is my considered opinion that the country should not be indebted to such huge amount of money due to borrowing from local and foreign sources.’’

The inductees were advised to operate within the code of conduct in the industry to avoid sanctions.

The 14th CITN President and Chairman of Council, Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, said the inductees must be on top of policies and developments in the profession to enlighten our clients on reliefs available to them. This, she added, would assist them in reducing their exposures and going concern while also ensuring that they are able to fulfill their taxes obligations promptly.

She said tax authorities should continue to engage more with taxpayers to address the challenges that they face in these uncertain and challenging times.

According to her, the inductees have become stakeholders, who as of necessity must commit to the realisation of the goals of the institute by their active participation at its programmes and activities.

“Furthermore, your professional conduct and depth of your technical capacity inexorably confers greater respect and value on the Institute by all those that deal with you.Therefore, you are expected to attend our various capacity enhancement programmes for your professional development and for relevance. These programmes attract credit hours, the minimum of which is 35 credit hours on an annual basis,” he said.

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