Sensitisation Program in Anambra Highlights Taxation Challenges, Solutions

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In a bid to enhance tax compliance and efficiency in revenue collection, the Social & Integral Development Center (SIDEC) organized a sensitization event in Awka, Anambra State. Supported by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and UK International Development, the program aimed to educate stakeholders in the Anambra North Senatorial District on tax policies, compliance, and effective collection methods.

During her opening remarks, Ugochi Ehiahuruike, Executive Director of SIDEC, emphasized the importance of the Tax for Service project. She highlighted its goal of improving government services across sectors while educating citizens on their tax responsibilities.

Mr. Bruno Chinecherem, the DIDEC ICT Officer, presented a paper on Tax Policies and Law, outlining challenges facing Nigeria’s tax system. These challenges included arbitrary taxation, unclear distribution of taxation powers among government levels, and inadequate taxpayer information leading to non-compliance.

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Barrister Paul Okoye stressed the need to change the negative perception of taxation. He called for government intervention to address issues of banditry and contractor abuse during tax collection processes.

National Vice President of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), Prof. Charles Nwadigwe, criticized the application of plea bargains in tax payment, advocating for fair treatment of taxpayers regardless of their status.

Engr. Tony Aniebue highlighted Anambra State’s legislation on taxation but lamented the lack of enforcement. He urged small and medium enterprises to maintain proper financial records for smoother tax experiences.

In a presentation on UHBET Roles and Responsibility, the Assistant Team, Unified Hybrid Enforcement Team, UHBET Lead for Anambra North Senatorial District, Barrister Nonso Arinze, revealed significant revenue gains through the Enforcement Team’s efforts, plugging tax leakages amounting to 3.1 Billion Naira. The team vowed to crack down on traders evading personal income tax.

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Mrs. Georgina Akunyiba of the Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) urged UHBET to improve awareness on tax roles and responsibilities to reduce redundancies in presentations. She called on ASATU to aid in community enlightenment.

Additionally, a presentation on the 2024 Budget emphasized the importance of government accountability and responsible budget implementation.

The event, attended by stakeholders from Anambra North Central Senatorial Districts, witnessed participation from market leaders, farmers, civil society organizations, academia, and government officials. This collaborative effort signals a step forward in addressing taxation challenges and promoting effective revenue collection in Anambra State.

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