Apapa Senior High School emerges winner of tax competition
Apapa Senior High School has been awarded winner of the 2021 edition of the Lagos State senior secondary schools inaugural public speaking competition on taxation, organised by the Society of Women in Taxation (SWIT).
The public speaking competition, the organisers said, was aimed at exposing students in senior secondary schools to tax education.
Speaking on the theme, ‘How Can We Improve the Nigeria Tax System?’, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, who stressed the importance of the debate, said there was need to ensure taxation is a civic duty of every Nigerian.
He noted that introducing formal tax education in secondary schools would go a long way in promoting tax consciousness amongst Nigerians from childhood to when they become liable to start paying tax.
He quoted Chapter 24 (f) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which provides that it shall be the duty of every citizen to declare his income honestly to the appropriate and lawful agencies and pay his tax promptly.
He, however, lamented that citizens’ compliance to the provisions of the constitution has not been encouraging as reflected by the low tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in the country.
He said: “The low compliance level in Nigeria has raised the question of the inadequacy of citizen tax knowledge in the country and whether tax education is warranted.
“In this respect, there is a need to deepen the taxation culture through the introduction of taxation in formal education. Introducing formal tax education in secondary schools will go a long way in promoting tax consciousness in Nigerians from childhood to when they become liable to paying tax.”
State Coordinator, SWIT Lagos, Cecilia Odigbo, noted that SWIT aims to stimulate the interest of Nigerian youths towards considering the tax profession as their career choice.
She said the debate was aimed at preparing the students to be tax compliant when they eventually become future leaders.
She added that the event was the fourth agenda of her programme to catch them young for taxation, when she took over office as state coordinator of SWIT, Lagos.
President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Adesina Adedayo, who was represented by the institute’s Deputy Director, Planning and Administration, Simon Kato, said the topic for debate provided an opportunity to enlighten participants and proffer solutions to the problems associated with Nigeria’s tax system.
About 10 public schools from Lagos State participated in the competition with Oke Odo Senior High School and Iju Senior Grammar School emerging first and second runners-up respectively, while a certificate of participation was also given to other schools.