By Ayodele Popoola
As part of efforts to drive tax culture among young people most especially school children, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in partnership with the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS) launched the distribution of books on taxation to students across the Ondo State.
The 9,000 copies of a book titled: Why Do People Pay Tax” was presented to the state Ministry of Education, to be distributed to primary and secondary schools across the State.
Speaking at the event held at the State Ministry of Education on Friday, FIRS Zonal Coordinator in charge of Kwara, Ondo, and Ekiti States, Mr. Ishola Akingbade said that the easy reading book is specifically designed for young people, both pupils in primary and students in secondary schools In order to bring tax education to their doorsteps.
Akingbade emphasized that the need to educate and sensitize the people at the lower level of tax issues has birthed the need for the initiative, as young people are always curious to know things and the knowledge of taxation, the laws, the administration, and the policy framework would best be understood by students at the basic level.
He added that the young people would also talk to their parents about taxes and its importance
“As taxation is the bedrock of development, the FIRS under the current executive Chairman, has decided to sensitize the people at the lowest level to educate them on tax issues.
“We call it ‘coming book’, specially designed for the easy read for young pupils, preferably, pupils in primary and students in secondary Schools because we want to bring tax education to their doorstep
“We are saying, tax education starts from the foundation, and that led us to come up with a book like this for distribution to all secondary Schools we are starting with Ondo State because we have a good relationship with them because when it comes to tax compliance, they’ve been so fantastic.
In his remark, the Chairman, of Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS), Mr. Tolu Adegbie lauded the initiative.
He said its goal is to bring the issue of tax to the consciousness of the people, as it is important to train the people properly so that they can accept the idea, especially when it comes to taxation
Adegbie who identified tax avoidance as one of the challenges faced by the Agency stated further that if people know why they must pay tax, they definitely will comply.
He said ODRIS would not only be made to distribute the copies across schools but also ensure follow-up by going to the schools to talk to them.
“We will set up tax clubs, promote engagement, and promote dialogue on tax among the youth at both secondary schools and the university level. So, what they’ve done is to give us literature but we still have to go and talk to them”, Adegbie added.
Adegbie, however, appreciated the FIRS for the partnership, noting that the book will impact greatly in building a strong tax culture among young people.
The climax of the event was the official presentation of the books to the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Femi Agagu who was ably represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Abimbola Folasade Adegoke.
Mrs Adegoke appreciated FIRS and ODIRS for the initiative, just as she assured that it would be equitably distributed.