The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) on Thursday held a training programme in Lagos geared towards sensitising its members on the process of electronic filing of tax returns and payments.

The programme, which was held in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), focused on the need for tax consultants to embrace the new electronic system put in place by the FIRS, as it will improve the quality of customer services and reduce the cost incurred by consultants in filing tax returns and payments.

Other benefits of using the electronic system include the generation of assessment notices, payment reminders, and other taxpayers correspondence automatically, and the automation of tax account update and receipt generation.

Speaking during the programme, the President of CITN, Mr. M. A. Chidolue Dike, noted that “E-filing is a fundamental reform in taxation which will inevitably lead to better service delivery.”

He encouraged tax consultants to not get left behind and advised them to take advantage of the boundless opportunities which the online service offers.

The e-filing system, which is now operational in most cities nationwide, is a part of the end products of the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) Project which the FIRS, with the support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) embarked upon few years ago.

The utmost aim of the ITAS Project is to modernise tax administration in the country, from an entirely manual process to an all-round and completely automated system.

Tagged: “Sensitisation on Professional Tax Practice Monitoring and E-filing of Tax Returns and Payment”, the programme also provided an avenue for CITN’s Tax Practice Monitoring Committee (TPCM) to enlighten its members on the mandate and progress of the committee.

Chairman of TPCM, Mrs. Adebimpe Balogun reminded members that the committee was set up to ensure a certain level of standard among professionals practising taxation in the country, and ensure there is a measure of regulation and discipline for those who fail to comply with the laid down rules.

“The monitoring of tax practice will seek to confirm that members comply with the professional rules relating to integrity, courtesy, competence, confidentiality, objectivity and independence, regulatory compliance, personal responsibility and professional indemnity,” a report presented by TPCM at the programme read.

S’Africa’s Pioneer Foods Launches Nigerian Venture

Pioneer Foods Limited, a South African food and beverage producer, plans acquisitions in at least five more African countries after taking a majority holding in Nigerian competitor Food Concepts Plc. “We’re talking to entrepreneurs for opportunities to expand our investments in the continent” within the next five years, the company’s head of international business, Thushen Govender said in an interview with Bloomberg.

“Our focus is on larger economies with a higher population – for example, Angola, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana.”

Pioneer Foods completed the $7 million purchase of a 50.1 per cent stake in Food Concepts, an operator of quick-service restaurants and bakeries in Ghana and Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. The acquisition will enable the Paarl-based producer of baked goods, cereals and beverages to expand beyond South Africa, Govender said. Pioneer Foods sees Nigerian economic growth and its large, young population as a boost for the consumer market, he added.

Nigeria has a population of more than 177 million people, of which 44 per cent is under the age of 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 28 per cent in South Africa.

“Our approach to investing in Africa is long term,” even if “over the short term there may be concerns,” Govender said.

“In the case of Nigeria, the exchange rate and growth level could be of concern because of the dependence of the economy on oil,” though “because of the younger population, we see a lot of opportunities.”

News Reporter