The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, on Saturday inducted 586 new members as certified chartered practitioners in the field of taxation.
President of CITN, Gladys Simplice, said at the 41st induction ceremony of the institute in Lagos that the exercise was a mechanism to grow the tax administration system of the country.
According to her, the induction signifies commitment on the part of the inductees to become ambassadors of the profession at all times.
She, therefore, urged the inductees to uphold the principles and integrity of the profession in their service to the society.
Mrs Simplice said the inductees should contribute their quota to the move toward ensuring effective and efficient tax administration system in Nigeria.
“The induction programme provides the opportunity to formally certify tax professionals who have met the requirements to practice as chartered tax administrators.
“As a chartered tax professional, avail yourself with opportunities of seminars and workshops to constantly be updated with new developments and methodologies in the profession.
“Overall, our primary purpose is to maintain the sanctity of the taxation profession to the extent that knowledgeable, skilled and qualified professionals are available in Nigeria,” she said.
Mrs Simplice listed some of the Institute’s recommendations that could be adopted to address identified issues in the 2020 Federal Government Budget.
According to her, there is potential for government to increase productivity by investing in education with emphasis on quality and quantity as a way of driving the 2020 budget.
She said: “More than ever before, there is a compelling need to reinvigorate our enlightenment and education mechanisms. The National Orientation Agency, NOA, must wake up to its statutory responsibilities.
“A concerted plan of action is required to change the narrative of poor tax awareness by the citizens”.
According to her, at the government level, it is important that tax policy initiatives and reviews in tax laws are well thought-out and followed through.
Mrs Simplice added that government should avoid the propensity to introduce earmarked taxes with the intention of raising revenues while neglecting the impact such action would have on businesses and economic activities.
“As the Federal Government has announced the increase in VAT rate from 5% to 7.5%, the 2019 Finance Bill is seeking legislative backing for the increased rate. Hence, there is need to increase indirect taxation,” Mrs Simplice said.
Udochukwu Ogbonna, a Fellow of CITN, said that tax administrators should maintain professionalism in the course of discharging their mandates.
Mr Ogbonna, who was Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony, said that a tax professional must display honesty, humility and commitment when dealing with clients.
“I enjoin you to go out there and up the scale of taxation practice and administration in Nigeria and globally.
“Taxation practice is not “settlements”. You need to equip yourself technically; be up to date with tax laws, tax jurisprudence as well as global tax practice. You are to be more driven by expanding the frontier of tax knowledge rather than only the pecuniary interest,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Best Overall Graduating Student among the inductees, Olaoluwa Bamidele, stressed the need to create more awareness on taxation system to help widen the tax net in Nigeria.