C’River Acting Gov. Wants Reform of Tax Administration

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by crossriverwatch admin

Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria has been urged to fashion out a more holistic policy that will make taxation a pleasurable civic responsibility rather than being seen as punitive measure in the country.

Acting Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, who stated this when the President and Chairman in council of the institute, Chief Asiwaju Jegede led other members of the body on a courtesy visit in Calabar, maintained that the call became necessary because the nation needs to diversify its economy and reduce its over dependence on hydro-carbon which has remained a major source of revenue earning to the country.

He contended that re-positioning the nation’s tax system was critical to its development as a mono economy was not a good sign for a country that desires growth, pointing out that a well-articulated tax policy is capable of generating revenue equivalent to what is currently derived from hydro-carbon.

Mr. Cobham noted that the reason why the state decided to overhaul the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) was to strengthen and make it more vibrant to drive effective and efficient tax administration in such a manner that will contribute meaningfully to its development.

He averred that apart from building capacity of staff and introduction of automated tax system, the state government has acquired the latest taxation software that will check corruption and engender cash-less economy in the state as well as give it leverage in discharging its statutory duties in line with current realities.

The acting governor said that the state intends to use tax generated internally for the running of government while federal allocations will support capital projects when the policy eventually come to fruition.

He pointed out that the state had to diversify into the development of tourism and agriculture where it has comparative advantage to achieve the anticipated socio-economic transformation and hoped that with the new face of taxation, the needed revenue will be generated from those areas.

While soliciting technical assistance from the body for the BIR to enable it function optimally, Cobham thanked the council for choosing Cross River State for its 2013 Annual General Meeting(AGM) and promised to support the newly inaugurated body in the state to enable it grow.

The President and Chairman in Council, Chattered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Chief Asiwaju Jegede, who said the body which was established in 1982 and granted chattered status in 1992 has over the years lived up to its billing by advising the federal government and contributing to tax development ventures in all the three tiers of government.

He advocated for financial and administrative autonomy of the tax administration body in the country to enable it perform effectively.

He further maintained that the autonomy will free the body from the bureaucratic bottle necks which often hinder the smooth operation of the system, saying that freedom from the ministry will make it more proactive and responsive.

He also called on the government to appoint and elevate the head of the agency to a cabinet cadre to enable them be part of policy making process at the executive level while the state house of assembly should establish special committee on taxation separate from finance committee with clear mandate on tax matters.

He lauded the administrative style of the state governor, Senator Liyel Imoke for the giant strides recorded so far especially in the area of tourism and promised to partner the state in its quest to re-positioning its tax administration system.

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