Taxation with Human Face


From time, the tax collector had never been seen as a friend of the people, but taxation had always remained a major source of public funding.

It took the intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ to clarify the issue of whether it was proper for taxes to be paid by the people when the issue was brought to his attention by the Jews. He settled the matter peacefully when he asked them to look at the portrait on the currency they were using in carrying out their financial transactions and he explained that since it was a mundane matter, the people owed it as an obligation to pay taxes to the mundane authorities whose symbol was represented by the portrait on the coin which then was the currency in those times and places. Through that intervention the people now came to see and accept taxation as a way of life  and also saw the  tax collectors as people who needed to work in the system to keep the mundane system alive in the discharge of its responsibilities to the citizenry.

It goes without disputation, therefore, that throughout the world, taxes constitute important sources of revenue to government at all levels.

While acknowledging the importance of taxation in governance, it should equally be acknowledged that tax could be an incentive or disincentive to investment. It boils down to how friendly a tax regime is to prospective sources from which the authorities anticipate generation of the valuable revenues with which to fund desirable programmes and projects with a view to sustainable programme and project development in the face of ceaseless challenges competing for ever dwindling resource availability.

There is therefore, every need to collectively make Benue State a tax friendly state to encourage local and foreign investors to become players in the development of its economy.

Owing to the inherent value of direct and indirect foreign investment with the power of foreign currencies, especially the leading ones like the Dollar, Euro, Pound and Deutsch Mark, nothing should be left to chance to avail potential investors in these currencies  the opportunities to become players in the Benue economy with enticing tax options that assure of credible business opportunities in secure environments with readily available markets and accompanying opportunities for expansion in addition to the affordability of available manpower to support the ever increasing quest for the reduction of the unemployment rate among the teeming youths of the state towards curbing restiveness and criminality.

The transfer of technology should be one of the overriding considerations while advocating foreign investment apart from the immediate gain of taxation for revenue boosting. There are a lot of things in terms of human development to be achieved through foreign investors when and if they eventually become players in the Benue economy. Skills acquisition and development are key in foreign investment.

Globally there is a growing trend of government gradually reducing its direct investment presence in the economy to increasing its facilitating private sector role of driving economic prosperity through direct investment. Government has retained its roles of providing the policy framework within which private Enterprise can flourish in a secure environment where fair competition thrives with opportunities available for expansion and even diversification.

The Benue Coalition of Business and Professional Associations, BENCOBPA, has offered its wealth of experience and competence with its more than 18 -member  business and professional Associations to partner with the Benue State Board of Internal Revenue Services. BIRS, towards critically sensitizing the Benue taxable population to ensure that the economic growth and development of the state as part of the BENCOBPA contribution towards achieving the laudable dream of economic prosperity for Benue State and indeed Nigeria. BENCOBPA will while sensitizing its members to enhance prompt payment of their taxes, encourage the Board of Internal Revenue Services to periodically review its methods, processes and procedures for tax collection to make Benue State a more tax-friendly state in order to free more revenue for generation for the purposes of development for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Speaking on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 when he received the Benue Coalition of Business and Professional Associations led by Barrister Donatus Zuanah, the Executive Chairman, Board of Internal Revenue Services, BIRS, Mr Andrew Ayabam, welcomed the BENCOBPA sensitization of the Benue business community to warm up voluntary compliance with taxation and assured that the state will increasingly accord taxation a human face in partnership with ready and willing stakeholders like BENCOBPA.

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