In recognition of its compliance with international corporate governance character, leading telecommunications operator, Airtel Nigeria was on recently awarded the Lagos State Government 2013 Tax Compliance Award.
The Executive Governor of Lagos, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) presented the award to the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the company, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya at the 7th Annual Lagos State Taxation Stakeholders’ Conference held at The Haven, Ikeja GRA.
Speaking shortly before the presentation of the awards, the executive chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Babatunde Muyiwa Fowler commended the company for demonstrating consistency in the promptness and adequacy of its remittances.
His words, “In recognition of your level of personal income tax compliance in the year 2012 and the consistency in the promptness and adequacy of your remittances which was demonstrated as an organisation during the course of the year, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service is presenting this award to your esteemed institution as one of the recipients (corporate category) of the Lagos State Government 2013 Tax Compliance Award”
In his own remarks, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, represented at the event by the Director of Human Resources, Jibril Saba, said the award is recognition of Airtel’s demonstrated belief in Government’s policies and respect for corporate governance standards.
“As a pro-people company, we have demonstrated our willingness, readiness and capacity to support efforts of government towards better living conditions for the people. We believe that prompt, consistent and adequate payment of taxes is one way to do this. Indeed, we are proud of the achievements of the Fashola administration because it is in line with our goals of helping people live their dreams and write their own success stories,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Fashola has ascribed the successful implementation of some programmes of his administration to the state’s effective taxation system.
While debunking alleged claims of multiple tax policy, the Governor asserted that his administration was not enforcing a policy unpopular among developed nations of the world. He also pointed out that past leaders like the late Premier of the Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, were able to achieve more because their people willingly supported them through payment of taxes.
His words, “The idea of taxation has helped us a people. Today, we have one of the biggest budgets among the states of the federation, and this is largely due to the effectiveness of our tax system.
I hear people complain about multiple taxes, but in actual fact, there is nothing like that. As a matter of fact, I know of state in the USA which residents pay for the water they use and also for sewage disposal. They complain about the fees we collect at our tolls, but somewhere in Abuja, I have had to pay same toll fee.”
Airtel Nigeria has won several awards for its roles in championing growth, quality service delivery, product innovations and pocket-friendly tariffs in the telecommunication and for its exploits in the Corporate Social Responsibility terrain.
Apart from Airtel Nigeria, other awardees include Alhaja Latifat Okunnu, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Elder Oyebode Ayodele, Octogerian Sir Samuel P.O. Fortune Epie, Tiriah Tam David West, Mobil Oil Producing Nigeria, Samsung Electronics, West Africa, Standard Chartered Bank Plc and Toyota Nigeria Limited.
Notable dignitaries at the event were Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, a former minister of Industry, Mr. N.A.C. Dike, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, and Mr. Ben Akabueze, Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning. Others were Lateef Ibirogba, Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Honourable Olufunmilayo Tejuosho, Chairperson, House Committee on Finance, LAHA and Oba Akran of Badagry who led the host of traditional rulers from Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti States.