With Denis Matthew
In a bid to meet 70 per cent of 2017 budget target, the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), Dr. Muritala Awodun expressed hope that the agency would generate N21 billion before the year runs out.
The agency had recently declared that it realised a total sum of N17.4 billion between January and October, 2017.
Awodun disclosed this while speaking shortly after the grand finale of the Tax Club 2017 Quiz Competition organised for qualified secondary schools in the three Senatorial Districts held at Whitefield Hotel, Ilorin on Friday.
He explained that the initial target for the year was N34 billion before it was reviewed downward to N29 billion because of the economic situation in the country.
“Because of the reality of the economy and so many things we have taken into consideration. So our hope is that probably we should be able to make about N21 billion out of the N29 billion revised budget. That will be a marginal increase above our performance in 2016,” the agency boss stated.
On the quiz competition Awodun said: “We felt that as part of enhancing revenue generation in the state it is important to penetrate in secondary schools.
“We believe that the earlier we get the students to know about tax education the better for us as through their teachers the message can be easily spread to every household in the state.
“So in doing that we introduced the community impact programme, of which education is part of the 5Es and through it we brought in the tax club in schools as means of enlightening the younger generation.
Also speaking, the initiator of Tax Club in Nigeria, Prof. Abiola Sanni a Professor of Tax Law, University of Lagos said, “The whole idea of conceptualising tax club is to catch the students young and to enlighten them on the importance of tax payment to national development.
“If you look at the crop of professionals today, most of them didn’t have interaction with tax at their tender age which is affecting the younger generation,” he noted
The don rated tax compliance in Nigeria as very low while urging the Federal Government to introduce policies that will smoothen and enhance its collection.
He said, ” The level of tax compliance is very low and the statistics on tax is just 6 per cent in the budget and we are not going anywhere as a nation. That’s why the government at all levels needs to collaborate to broaden tax performance.”
Meanwhile, Government Day Secondary School, Oko-Erin emerged winner in the competition and won a prize of N1 million while Government Secondary School, Ilorin came second and was presented with a cheque of N500,000.
Oro Muslim High School was in the third place and awarded a cheque of N250,000 while awards were also given to best performing students and teachers from respective schools.