By Babatunde Ayedoju
Taxation is not only the most sustainable and reliable source of income for the government but, a necessary tool for economic development.
This was the position of the Chairman, Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS), Mr Tolu Adegbie, while speaking at the second Annual Lecture and Dinner of Elizade University Tax Club (EUTC) in Akure on Thursday.
The ODIRS boss was represented at the event by the Senior Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Revenue, Mr Olufemi Feyide.
Adegbie who is the patron of EUTC noted that since tax is consequential of every income made by citizens in a country, one can infer that where a tax authority is effective and properly empowered, the tax authority will be able to generate tax from every income being made by citizens in the state/country.
While advocating collaboration among all revenue collection agencies, Mr Adegbie urged that tax authorities should be properly empowered to carry out their duties effectively.
While thanking the Ondo State Government for efforts made so far to have an effective tax system, he said, “For us in Ondo State, it is a continuous growth. Based on worldwide parameters, Nigeria is undertaxed. So, here in Ondo State, we will consider ourselves undertaxed. But every year, it has been a continuous and progressive growth.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. The more we generate tax, the more the state shows what it can do with it. We must stretch ourselves to do better because we have created a bar and cannot go below it.”
Acting Governor of Ondo State, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa who was represented by Prince Segun Omojuwa, commended Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, the founder of Elizade University, for allowing the idea of tax club to flourish in the school.
He also said, “Tax is statutory. It is compulsory and it is for the purpose of development. For me, tax is to a nation as blood is to human system.”
Also speaking at the event, Mr David Ologun, a tax expert, stated that Nigeria’s tax system is intended to contribute to the welfare of citizens.
Ologun who spoke on the topic “Bridging Income Inequality through Taxation” explained that the aim of Nigeria’s tax system is to “promote fiscal responsibility and accountability, facilitate economic growth and development, provide the government with stable resources for goods and services.”
The Head of ODIRS legal department, Barrister Adebayo Ogunsuyi, represented by Mrs. Oladayo Omotosho, said that proper audit, investigation and probe were inevitable to deal with money laundering in Nigeria.
He added that extant tax laws in Nigeria had made provisions and empowered tax authorities to probe occupation and sources of income of tax payers.