Leading professional services firm, PwC Nigeria has said the federal government cannot win the war against corruption if there is no transparency in the reporting system.
PwC’s Head of Tax, Taiwo Oyedele who stated this in his presentation at the 2017 PwC annual Capability Enhancement Workshop for Journalists held in Lagos on Tuesday, said there is need for all agencies of government to adopt global best practices in their reporting system.
He said the reason many Nigerians are refusing to pay tax is because they cannot see what government is doing with the taxes they had paid in the past because the various agencies of government are unable to transparently report their transactions. “As we speak Nigeria’s tax to gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the lowest in the world only six per cent,” he said.
The one day workshop had as participants, journalists across both traditional and new media platforms. It featured insightful presentations on various topics by subject matter specialists with the aim of building the capacity of journalists and enhancing their ability to execute their duties effectively while also better positioning themselves to take advantage of future opportunities.
The annual workshop which is now in its fourth year with over 200 journalists benefitting from the training, is a major component of PwC’s Corporate Responsibility strategy. It was instituted in recognition of the very important role of the media in society and in particular, the role that the media in Nigeria has and continues to play in informing and educating the public.
Oyedele whose presentation focused on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) and the role the media can play in making Nigeria a tax paying nation, said if government is desirous of improving its revenue generation, it must improve on the efficiency of its tax collection. He expressed satisfaction with the recently launched VAIDS by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
He said the new initiative is a time-limited opportunity for taxpayers to regularize their tax status relating to previous tax periods and pay any taxes due.
According to him, in exchange for fully and honestly declaring previously undisclosed assets and income the tax payer will benefit from forgiveness of overdue interest and penalties, and the assurance they do not face criminal prosecution for tax offences or tax investigations.
Earlier in his welcome address, Country Senior Partner, PwC Nigeria Uyi Akapata
Who was represented by Oyedele, said: “Our support for the media through this workshop and the media excellence award is in line with our purpose which is to build trust in society and solve important problems. It is a demonstration of our strong belief that for the Nigerian people to enjoy good governance, the media must perform its role optimally and professionally and this is reflected in the quality of reporting, in the capacity of individual journalists to carry out research and investigations, in the independence of editorial judgments, and in their ability to use technology as an enabler.”