By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
Public and private secondary schools in the six education districts of Lagos State are already putting their acts together in their bid to emerge victorious in the second edition of the state Internal Revenue essay competition.
The contest, which is essentially on issues directly relating to taxation, was put in place last year by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) as a way of familiarising the youths with the importance of paying taxes and the roles which prompt payment of taxes play in fostering development.
While addressing the press, the Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler said Nigeria actually relegated the issue of taxation to the background due to her over-reliance on oil, adding that since the country has been reaping oil money, it has not been making the payment of taxes its priority.
But the exploitation of oil in the country will not last forever, Fowler says, explaining that it is high time Nigeria begins to place high premium on other means of generating income including taxation.
He explained that the annual essay competition on taxation being organised by LIRS is informed by its decision to bring taxation issue to the forefront, reiterating that when students partake in the essay competition, it will enrich their knowledge and understanding of issues relating to taxation. He added that the knowledge gained by such student participants will not only be useful to them but will enable them to make positive impact on their parents and the society at large.
The essay competition is for both Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, with each level having options of two topics to write on, out of which they are to choose one. The topics for the Junior Schools category are â€œWell equipped schools, recreational centres, good hospitals, good roads, efficient transportation etc. Tax payments make them possible.
Discuss,â€ and â€œAll taxable adults should pay their taxes to ensure that Lagos State remains the Centre of Excellence as it becomes a Mega City, Discuss.â€
The topic for Senior Secondary Schools are: â€œTax payments fund infrastructural development. Discussâ€, and â€œGood things donâ€™t come cheap. Prompt and accurate tax payment is vital to emerging Lagos. Discuss.â€
Fowler said that the same questions are given to both private and public schools in order to subject them to the same intellectual vigour, adding that the reinvigorating of public schools in Lagos