Stephen Ocheni, Minister of State for Labour and Employment has challenged Chartered Institute of Taxation in Nigeria (CITN) to play a crucial role in the federal Governments quest for transparency and accountability in public service.
Ocheni gave the charge while addressing the Executive members of Chartered Institute of Taxation who conferred on him an ‘Award of Excellence’ during the celebration of the institute’s annual week in Abuja.
He also applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and CITN in promoting the enabling environment for members of the Institute to drive and explore new grounds towards economic recovery.
The Minister specifically underscored the vision and commitment of CITN members in the drive towards attracting investments into key sectors of the economy in the areas of tax hold, export incentives, investment allowances and tourism incentives respectively.
According to him “the private sector is the engine of growth and wealth creation while the Government’s major responsibility is to provide the enabling environment for the private sector to operate.
“The Federal Government has developed a package of incentives for various sectors of the economy which will help to accelerate growth and development, reduce poverty and promote the Governments Economic Recovery and Growth plan.”
Ocheni stressed that the much needed economic transformation and growth towards getting out of recession are contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of Mr. President.
“I wish to commend President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for the huge success recorded in the implementation of the EGRP which has finally led Nigeria out of recession.”
The Minister who observed that “the administration and payment of tax in Nigeria dated back to the pre-colonial era,” affirmed that “the act of imposing a compulsory levy on citizens by government with the objective of granting funds to finance government expenditure and regulate economic and social policies while tax is a compulsory levy on citizens by government.”
In his remarks, Babatunde Fowler, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) who applauded the Ministerial appointment of Professor Ocheni by President Muhammadu Buhari, affirmed the readiness of the Institute to support the present administration in its efforts at ensuring economic growth in all its facets.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja