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CITN seeks increased tax drive in informal sector




The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Lagos District, has called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts towards bringing the informal sector into the tax net.

At the investiture and induction of executive members of the institute in Lagos, the newly elected chairperson, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Campbell, said the tax drive in the sector remained challenging due to the non-organisation of business operators.

Considering the state of the economy, she added that the proposed communications tax of nine per cent did not come at the right time and urged the government to reintroduce it when the economy is more stable.

“The informal sector is actually a cumbersome sector and we have been having challenges because the type of people we are talking about are not educated and it is very difficult to convince them.

An average individual is not willing to pay tax let alone someone who is not knowledgeable about it. The government is trying to make an effort but it is really not enough yet.

Basically, what they have done is to try and encourage them to have associations.“On the proposed communication tax of nine per cent which the Federal Government is trying to impose, I think the timing is wrong. It should not be now but maybe when the country is more stabilised, we can talk about that. A lot of people cannot even afford three square meals,” she said.

Campbell pledged her commitment to the training of members to upgrade their skills and professionalism on the job.She added: “The first thing I will want to do is to enhance the professionalism of my members by organising training, seminars and workshops because as professionals, we should be up and doing; we know our onions and know what the tax profession entails before we can actually go out to enhance revenue generation for the government.

We all know that is the main source of revenue right now in the country. This is to fill in the knowledge gaps and enhance members’ values.”While recognising there are myriad of challenges facing Nigeria, the guest speaker and a former Ambassador of Nigeria to Angola, Folorunsho Otukoya, urged the government to be compassionate about the plight of citizens, make tax affordable and be accountable to the people.

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