By James Ezema
The President of TheÂ Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, Prince Kunle Quadri has said that for Nigerian economy to survive in view of recent drop in revenue accruable to all levels of government in the country from oil, Nigeria need to diversify its revenue base, improving upon its collection of taxes.
He disclosed that an improved tax system devoid of burden of double taxation could account for higher percentage of the nationâ€™s revenue sources.Prince Quadri spoke in a chat with Vanguard at the investiture of Mrs Tinuola Oyekan as the 10th chairman of Lagos District Society of the institute in Lagos.
According to him, â€œNigeria has been able to cope even before the advent of oil and in those days we had resources that were been tapped. In the northern states, we had groundnut pyramid, in the east we had (palm) oil, in the west we had cocoa, but immediately the oil came in, all these things disappeared.
â€œThat apart, taxation happens to be the only source that will not dry up. Talking about oil, the oil will dry up eventually. When it comes to the issue of taxation, as long as you have human beings on earth, it wonâ€™t dry up.
â€œSo, we need to develop a system in which the people will comply voluntarily. And one of the main issue is that there is data information problem. We donâ€™t know who the tax payers are and they donâ€™t know where to pay or how to pay and that is a big problemâ€, Quadri noted.
Regretting lack of serious attention to taxation as a major source of revenue, he said: â€œGovernment will have to invest in that area because not much have been done in terms of investment. You cannot reap where you have not investedâ€.
He observed that the tax reforms currently going on is basically at the federal level, saying that the states has to be taken along.
â€œThey (states revenue service) must be given autonomy and the government must have the will power because without the backing of government, the service will not be able to do anything.
â€œSo, we are calling on the Federal Government to actually give support to state governments and we also expect the state governments to give their support to their respective board so that they can improve on internally generated revenueâ€, Quadri said.
The new chairman of the Lagos District Society, Mrs Tinuola Oyekan while rolling out her plan of action said that gender controversy and her role as a wife and mother would not in anyway impede her leadership, promising to carry every member of her executive along.
â€œMy team and I hope to give a good account of our stewardship at the end of our tenure. To this end, every member of the executive of Lagos District Society would be carried along in all matters. andÂ have sole responsibility for his or her portfolioâ€, Mrs. Oyekan said.
Earlier while delivery his valedictory address, the past chairman of the district society, Abimbola Odusanya, a charted accountant, declared that â€œthis is also time to think more diligently and move to the next level in service to humanity as former enter the eldersâ€™ forum of the past chairmen of the district of excellenceâ€.
Mr Odusanya who gave account of his stewardship to the admiration and applause by members, therefore, commended the new chairman and her executive for taking up the mantle of leadership urging the to have confidence in themselves to survive.