The Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday embarked on a joint Road Show in Uyo, the state capital, to educate and sensitise the taxpayers on their responsibilities and what they should expect from the government.
The show which started along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo, as early as 9:45 am in a slow motorcade drove through major streets in the metropolis with tax administrators singing, dancing and distributing fliers.
Speaking with newsmen while explaining reasons for the joint show in Uyo, the state capital, the chairman of AKIRS, Okon Okon said tax administrators must constantly enlighten and educate the taxpayers on contemporary issues in taxation and reforms that might be introduced from time to in time.
“We are embarking on this joint enlightenment programme because it’s our duty as tax administrators to enlighten and educate the tax public on taxation matters and reforms that might be on the way so that it will be easy for them to comply without being forced”, he said.
The Coordinator, of FIRS in charge of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River, Dr Cletus Adie, said taxpayers are very important people in tax administration, adding that without them business does not exist.
He said what sustains the economy globally including Nigeria is taxation, adding that there was no longer a need to rely on oil because it may no longer be there again tomorrow.
His words, “The very essence of this programme is to educate our taxpayers. Our tax administration is driven by laws and education. If the taxpayers are not there, we don’t have a business and so we must ensure that every taxpayer has a fair knowledge of what we do and also understands his or her responsibility to government and the responsibility of government to all of us who pay tax.
“Today oil is going, so we should not over-rely on oil because a time comes when oil will no longer be there, so what sustains the economy globally including Nigeria right now is taxation, whether you like it or not, that is the trust”.
Speaking on why FIRS is collaborating with AKIRS on the show, Adie said” We do one business-tax administration and our business whether state government or federal government is mobilizing revenue to advance the welfare of state be it subnational or national.
“So, we do this collaboration to get our focus across to the people because we draw from one direction and it does not matter whether I am working for the federal government or working for the state government; tax administration is a jurisdiction that is not different”