Moses Oruaze Dickson, the Managing Solicitor, TRIAX Solicitors have called for the review of the legislative framework for tax and taxation in the country. He made this call speaking to media correspondents at the Annual 20th Tax Conference with the theme: Institutionalizing a Tax Paying Culture, which held at the Nigerian Air force Conference Center Abuja.
According to Oruaze, the last time there was any legislative review of the Nigerian tax laws, was in 1976, which make these laws obsolete for a progressive society like Nigeria.
He argued that even though Nigeria is not a tax haven, it is easy to do business in the country without paying tax as required. While businesses operating in Nigeria are willing to pay taxes to protect their reputation, the loopholes in the tax laws, create opportunities for these companies to evade taxes without being penalized, he stressed. Oruaze also emphasized that if solid legislations are put in place and enforced, this will impact on the tax paying culture of Nigerians and companies operating within its territory.
He however, commended the recent efforts by the government to encourage every citizen to pay taxes through the introduction of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). “It is only when citizens pay tax that they would cultivate the interest to participate in the governance process and hold their leadership to account”, he said.
Speakers at this year’s conference include, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi’ Osibanjo, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS); Babatunde Fowler, the President and Chairman of council, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria(CITN); Chief (Dr.) Cyril Ikemefuna Nwobodo and the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Revenue Board, DR Nimibofa Ayaowei.