By Elizabeth Osayande
The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has cautioned members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, on the implications of avoiding and evading tax.
FIRS Director, Tax Investigation Department, Olwutobi Abiola, who gave the warning at this year’s business luncheon and induction of new members of NSE, Apapa branch, in Lagos, said no Nigerian could hide anymore as far as taxation was concerned, adding that it was better for citizens to voluntarily comply.
Speaking on the theme, “Tax Avoidance or Evasion: The Engineer’s Role in Building a Culture of Voluntary Tax Compliance in Nigeria,” Abiola, who was the guest of honour, said the benefits of voluntarily remitting tax to government were enormous.
He said: “Any company that does not make N25 million in a year does not need to pay income tax. It’s in the Finance Act and so they’re exempted. And what I want to tell Nigerians is that Nigeria cannot develop without the payment of tax.
“It’s only taxes that grow a nation. The more we pay tax, the more the country develops. Engineers should not be forced to comply, you should pay tax voluntarily because you’re professionals, you’re seasoned. The tax payer is king if you do the right thing.
In his remarks, the chairman of NSE Apapa branch, Christian Ufot, said he expected every member of the society to, henceforth, pay their workplace taxes voluntarily to avoid incurring unnecessary sanctions from government.
It’s very important for everyone of us to be tax compliant. As pointed out today, the penalties for evading tax are quite enormous, so for one not to run into such problem, one needs to pay his/her tax timely,” said Ufot.
He also stated that the Apapa branch of the NSE, which is currently raising N20million to acquire land for itsown building, had grown from 22 members at its inception in 2001 to about 700 members in 2022.
A total of six new members were inducted at the ceremony, namely Obi Henry, Atoi Maxwell, Okosodo Constance, Ibrahim Yinusa, Olaoye Alaba, and Ajibade Adeyemi.
Other special guests at the event were Arc. Dunni Opayemi, Engr. Funmilola Ojelade, and NSE national president Engr. Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari Wudil, who were all ably represented by some other dignitaries. Past chairman of the NSE Apapa branch, Engr. Sunny Ejeje was also present.