The Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) has awarded about N3million to three secondary schools that emerged winners in its tax club quiz competition on Thursday.
Government Secondary School, Omu-aran emerged as first while Government Girls Day Secondary School, Oko-Erin and Iloffa Grammar School (IGS), Iloffa came second and third respectively.
Other categoriesof winners were given cheque individually which ranged between N250,000 to N50,000 for their exceptional performance during the period of the quiz exercise.
The tax club quiz competition had over 110 participating schools from the three senatorial districts in the state.
The Grand Final event which took place at Whitefield hotels had Government Secondary School (GSS), Omu-Aran winning the competition by defeating five other secondary schools .
The school was presented with a cheque of N1million while two students, Gbadegbo Fikayo and Olagbile Amos for N250,000 worth of scholarship, and their teacher, V.O Lawal given N150,000 cash reward.
GGDSS, Oko-Erin was presented with a cheque of N500,000, the two students that represented the school, Bello Christiana and Jimoh Khadijat were awarded N150,000 worth of scholarship while their teacher, T.O Adeshina got a sum of N100,000.
A cheque of N250, 000 was presented to IGS, Iloffa while the two students who represented the school for nN100,000 worth of scholarship each and their teacher, Joshua Adepoju rewarded with N50, 000.
Speaking at the event, the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed in his speech enjoined all the students who participated in the quiz competition to disseminate knowledge acquired to their classmates, schools and the society at large.
He commended KWIRS for organising the quiz competition just as he also applauded the revenue service for embarking on various community impacts projects aimed at improving the society.
The governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mrs. Felicia Faremi urged people who are taxable to support the government by ensuring they pay their taxes regularly, adding that payment of taxes is a civic responsibility.
Earlier in his address, the Executive chairman of KWIRS, Dr. Muritala Awodun noted that among objectives of organising the competition is to ensure that the students have a clear understanding of role of tax in development of an economy.
He said about 110 secondary schools across the three senatorial districts of the state participated in the preliminary stages of the competition, while 12 qualified for the semi-finals and six made it to the grand finale.
Meanwhile, the President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Mrs. Teju Somorin has said that the major reason Nigerians don’t want to pay tax is because of the over dependent on the revenue from the crude oil.
The CITN President said, “there are quite a number of reasons Nigerians don’t want to pay tax. Nigerians for a long time believed that oil money is there, so why will the government want their money by imposing tax on them.
“They perceived a natural money from the oil is for everybody and you know the oil money for a long time has been coming on regular basis we have not had it bad like this period.
“I could remember during Gen. Gowon’s era he made a statement that the problem of Nigeria is not money but how to spend the money. So you know how constable Nigerians have been and they will continue to be.
“Another reason is tax education, people are not enlightened on tax activities. Everything needs education, some people do not know that the government uses the money derived from taxation for roads construction, provide of portable water, build schools and other infrastructural development.
Somorin stressed that people don’t pay tax because they have not seen tangible projects carried out by their leaders on the tax money.
She said, “the mismanagement of public resources by politicians has made tax payers to lose hope on payment because they haven’t seen projects being executed in their localities.
She lauded the efforts of KWIRS initiative saying ” this is a right step taken by Kwara State government through KWIRS to organise quiz competition among the students, which will give them exposure to tax education and enhance economy of the country.”
Present at the event were the state Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Engr. Musa Yeketi and a Professor of Taxation, Sanni Abiola from University of Lagos.