By Fortune Abang
The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Alhaji Ahmed Idris, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to deepening transparency, accountability and efficiency of public resources for common good.
Idris, represented by Mr Salawu Zubairu, the Director in-charge of Consolidated Account at the Office of the AGF, said this at the closing ceremony of the two-day 2021 Tax-Week on Thursday in Abuja.
The event themed: “Efficient tax administration as panacea for increased revenue generation”, was organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Abuja and District Society, from Oct. 13 to 14.
According to him, topics selected for this year’s tax week are very clear and supportive of government’s desire to raise more revenue for financing its activities.
Idris said: “We are aware that President Muhammadu Buhari has presented the 2022 budget proposal to National Assembly; the challenge we have is not that our budget is big, but revenue.
“AGF as a public office, we are doggedly committed to implementation of public financial management reforms meant to deepen transparency, accountability and efficiency in view of public resources for the common good.
“To build trust between government and the citizens; the Office of the AGF will continue to support activities of the CITN and other professional bodies in Accountancy for common good of Nigeria.
“We must take positive note from the lectures delivered here, open our minds and seek clarification where need be to become more productive.”
He commended the institute’s focus on stamp duties and proper ways to ensure efficiency in revenue collection, saying what is required in terms of deficit in infrastructure is actually need to spend more.
Mr Mohammad Nami, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), described the theme of the event as apt in terms of revenue generation and debt financing.
Nami, represented by Mr Iro Ukpai, the Director, Technical Department of FIRS, said: “FIRS is proud to be identified with CITN, because together we can make taxation the pivot of national development.
“The fact that the Service is the biggest employer of your members makes it important for us to partner in the realisation of our various objectives.
“Issue of efficient tax administration could not have come at better time than now that high exchange rate and COVID-19 pandemic are resulting in high cost of projects for the government.”
He noted that the paper presentation topics on: “Evaluating of capital gains tax administration” and “Examination of stamp duty administration in Nigeria” were germane to government’s efforts towards achieving the desired goals.
In the same vein, the CITN President, Mr Adesina Adedayo, extolled the early presentation of 2022 budget to mark high score for government in the nation’s return to a full-length budget cycle.
Adedayo was represented by Mr Samuel Agbeluyi, the Vice Chairman of FCTI.
Adedayo said: “There is no gainsaying the fact that budget can only achieve its projected impact better, when it is passed early and implementation is followed strictly at all levels.
“High point for government is the annual finance bill that accompanies budget estimates. As noted the finance bill 2021 will be ready for consideration by the National Assembly in October.
“We expect the finance bill will address salient issues in some of our tax laws that impede businesses and impact on revenue generation capacity of government at national and sub-national levels.”
The Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Abdullahi Attah, underscored the need for people to always pay tax to promote national growth.
According to Attah, who is the Executive Chairman of FCT-IRS, for this country to grow we must go back to taxation, because tax is what we mostly relied on before turning to oil.
“Unfortunately with focus on electrical cars, we have no choice than to go back to taxation; CITN is the most important institution in this country and we have to make it work.
“If we make the institute to work all other associations will work, in terms of filing tax returns, declare same and when we all declare taxes we will all be more responsible citizens,” Attah said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of CITN, Abuja and District Society, Mrs Clara Nnachi, expressed appreciation to the stakeholders for their contribution to the success of the event.
“We remain grateful to all executive and members of the institute for the synergy of purpose and commitment, which is evident in the successes recorded at the Abuja and District Society,” Nnachi said.
The event featured award presentation to distinguished personalities, overview of the 2021 tax week, panel discussion and presentation of certificates. (NAN)