By Providence Emmanuel
The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria has started collaborations that would increase the number of practitioners in the tax professional while beckoning on University of Lagos, Unilag, to add taxation into its degree programme curricula.
Also, the Institute is seeking the support of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, to train its members who are a staff of the service.
As part of its quarterly Joint District Society Meeting, the Institute paid a courtesy visit to the office of the Vice-Chancellor, Unilag, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and Managing Director/CEO, LIRS, Mr Ayodele Subair.
In his remarks at Unilag, President, CITN, Mr Cyril Ede, said that the CITN was ready for collaborations with the university in the area of joint programmes that would promote taxation and also provide an opportunity for successful candidates to be admitted as members of the Institute.
He urged the university management to partner with the Institute in its role of ensuring the advancement of the Nigerian tax system, saying: “We want the university to consider the commencement of Bachelors’ Degree Programme in taxation. We would welcome collaboration between your university and the institute in the area of joint programmes that would promote taxation and also provide an opportunity for successful candidates to be admitted as members of the institute. We have signed an agreement with a number of universities in this respect.”
He stated further: “CITN as a deliberate policy, encouraged the formation of Taxation Students’ Association in Tertiary institutions to awaken their consciousness on the existence of taxation as a specialised discipline in Nigeria. The Unilag tax club remains a trailblazer amongst other tax clubs in the country.”
For LIRS, Ede pointed out that capacity building is critical to improving the performance of the staff of the Board, adding that continuous training is important in the development of professionals, especially members.
He said, “We seek more opportunities for career progression by our members who are the staff of the service. It would not augur well if members of the institute are stagnated or are not afforded opportunities to advance in the service.”
On his part, Subair pledged improved tax administration and service delivery to all taxpayers and continued collaboration with CITN and all its organs, saying, “We in LIRS cherish the relationship and look forward to strengthening same. Our focus in 2019 is on leveraging existing matured technology to drive tax administration and continue twigging our processes and procedures to ease and encourage voluntary tax compliance by all eligible residents of Lagos state.
“We have activated electronic filing of tax returns for corporate entities and individuals. We have launched an integrated tax administration system and would be accessible to members of the public in due course before the end of this quarter. We are still trying to fine tune the system. The informal sector remains a hard nut to crack with a low compliance level. The sector is characterized by cash base operation,” he said.